Are you curious about what questions to ask a newborn baby photographer when looking to book a newborn shoot? 

My trusted photographer friend Jess Wilkins has stopped by to bring you mamas some great advice in regards to questions you should ask when booking your precious angels first photoshoot…and if your anything like me this is a BIG DEAL.  Finding a trusted, well recommended professional might prove to be easy on the internet,  but there are some unsaid questions you may realise are important especially have if you don’t hold a lot of experience booking quality photography.

So everyone please give a warm welcome to Jess Wilkins to scroll below for some great information!

 

 

Hi I am Jess, a newborn and family photographer based in Norwich Norfolk.

With a lot of photographers to choose from these days,  I have compiled a list of questions you can ask when researching a bay photographer.

5 (1)

It is by no means an essential. But a photographer who has been trained in newborn posing means they have learned how to soothe and pose your baby safely. A key way to know, is to as and look at their newborn images – do the babies look cosy and content?  An experienced newborn photographer will know how to settle a baby and have the confidence to handle them,  making the shoot very relaxed and enjoyable for parents.

 

5 (2)

You may want someone to come to you, or do you want a studio based photographer. Feel free to ask questions on what facilities they have or how much space they need if traveling to you.

 

5 (3)

Many of us photographers get booked up months ahead allocating a set amount of slots for newborn babies. If you find a photographer you like, ensure to ask them what their availability and when is best to book. Also, ask for prices so you know if they fit your budget. Many will have a price list on their website.

 

5 (4)

If you like props then ask what ones the photographer has. My style is simple and natural, therefore I have very few props at the studio such as hats, rompers, headbands. If you want someone with lots of props and outfits then ask if they have these, look at their images does their style fit your needs and likes?

 

5 (5)

A photographer should be happy to talk to you about safety. Many of us talk about safety on our facebook pages, some local photographers train other photographers in this area. Sometimes an image is the result of a bit of Photoshop magic, you need to feel confident in whoever you book.

I go into more detail about choosing the right photographer over at my blog. A great read to help you identify what you need to look for to ensure you pick the photographer for your family.

Email me on info@jesswilkinsphotography.co.uk  http://www.jesswilkinsphotography.co.uk/ https://www.facebook.com/jesswilkinsphotography/

A newborn shoot is not an essential it is a luxury and you will not regret investing in a photoshoot whoever you book!

ABOUT THE GUEST:

jess wil

Jess Wilkins

Hi!  I am Jess a newborn specialist and family photographer, my aim is to photograph your bump, newborn or family in a calm  & natural way.
I’m a professional photographer based in Norwich and have been working for over 5 years with families and babies. Also a mother of two beautiful children who keep me busy.  My home studio in Norwich (Sprowston) is very welcoming and homely with plenty of free parking nearby.
I take my time with all my clients to ensure we get those portraits you’ll treasure and want to look back on in years to come. Babies and children really do grow up fast and I want to capture these precious moments!
My style with all shoots – especially newborn babies – is timeless and natural. If you are looking to invest in a photoshoot, but want the focus on your baby and family (not on props or bright colours ) then have a look at my galleries  You will see I use a neutral colour palette & textures meaning your images will be beautiful and timeless.
I do not rush my sessions; whether they are at the studio (ideal for under 1’s) or outside on location at the beach, park or your favourite spot in Norfolk.
Advertisements

Decking The Halls

Fa la la la la la la…

‘Tis the season folk and every year more in our home means every year more that we collect Christmas decorations, rearrange furniture and maybe add a gingerbread house to the “decking”.

This year is the first time I’ve found a wreath pretty enough to put up…and that was difficult within itself- two command strips and some left over Christmas ribbon. But I’m pretty impressed with the outcome of my £12 TKMAX find! This faux wreath is beautiful decorated and hopefully last me a few years. I wish I could hang a wreath all year around so I need to start collecting seasonal wreaths. I love how warm and inviting they are especially when you have guest over and it is the first thing they see.

This year is also special to us because it is Weston’s first Christmas…which means us as parents will remember this Christmas for the rest of our lives and Weston will loads of have the pictures to look back at one day.

Our Tree:

We’ve had a most wonderful tree from Balsam Hill UK for every Christmas in our home.

https://www.balsamhill.co.uk

My Christmas tree decorating style is classic, rustic and full of memorable ornaments. I love having a tree that reflects my family and our style in general, which is normally thrown together with love and memorable moments.

We ordered a few personalised ornaments this year including this wonderful rustic wood slice from Holder and Hook.

https://www.holderandhook.co.uk

Here is our Chicago ornament from our trip last year to visit family and spend some time in the city. Also funny enough the place we believe to have conceived Weston! Chicago is a special place to us, and we love exploring this great city. I’m so happy I found this piece before we left. Now I honestly think we need to find a Wisconsin ornament…

A couple of months ago I was on Instagram searching for a crafts person who made Christmas baubles and came across Laura Godbold and feel in love with the opaque personalised “First Christmas” design. I preordered and even had the option to choose the ribbon colour for the top. I really love this modern and unique bauble and I am happy to have it on my tree for years to come.

http://www.lauragodbold.com/

I was exploring Berrys and Grey in Norwich the other day and was searching for a few little extras to decorate the house with. I came across these cute little jingle bells that just can be used as tree decorations or…to use as jar fillers as well.

https://www.berrysandgrey.co.uk/

Some other little DIY projects I did for around the house was this gorgeous felt forest tree I found directions off Pinterest:

Make your own here: http://www.littlehouseoffour.com/2015/11/diy-rustic-felt-christmas-trees.html?m=1

Our fireplace is decorated with another customised letter light board, a few paper decorations, wood stag and potted faux Winter plant from Next.

Close up of the mantle with the light board that we switch on at night.

I’ve also hand crocheted with Merino wool in Caramel and used a picnic basket to set up a bit higher. I love how rustic and homey this looks next to the fireplace. I adore having a fireplace to read books and cuddle with my family on cold days. Especially this time of year when you slow down your life for a minute to remember to spend time and cherish family. A nice cozy fire is the perfect way to take a break from the Tv (we don’t put this in the same room) and just enjoy each other’s company.

And what is Christmas without a Gingerbread? This year of course I decorated this one by myself. But you bet I’ll be doing this with Weston as soon as his motor skills allow him to. Granted this was a pre made gingerbread house I purchased I did skip the typical candies provided and dug up some I had in my pantry and threw some red glitter on it and called it “Decorated”. I did try my absolute best with what I had at 11pm at night. Red glitter still stuck on the carpet I just let it pass calling it extra decor.

A must- do tradition for us is Christmas cards, considering I have all my side of the family living in the states. We normally don’t get to Wisconsin in the winter around Christmas because of the weather and what my husband calls dangerous snow conditions. Last time we went to Wisconsin in the winter was February 2015, which we landed in O’Hare Chicago Airport to so much snow we couldn’t see the ground until we were physically on the ground and spinning off the road in Madison. I think one year we will have to go so Weston can experience the snow fall- and make snowmen and sledding ect.

Our Christmas cards were made on Vista Print and our photos by Jess Wilkins Photography.

I always have fun decking the halls and really getting into the Holiday spirit. Because I can not be close to some of my family back in the states, family becomes very important and spending precious moments together and marking memories become very important to me.

I hope you all feel the holiday spirit and enjoy decking your halls. Share your favourite holiday decking decorations or traditions with me:)

MAMA CATES X

Thankgiving at The Cates ft Mortons Traditional Taste

Its that time of year again and you’re debating continuously whether or not to put up the Christmas tree.

For the English, I believe they start celebrating and prepping for Christmas the day after Halloween…well at least the retail world does.

But hey wait…Thanksgiving is first for us Americans!

I am not sure that the British will ever fully get it, no matter how many episodes of Friends they watch.

Doing Thanksgiving over here has made me and my husband realize how big Americans really like to celebrate the holidays. This year I decided that I wanted to make a proper Thanksgiving meal for my family since of course we now have a child and ever holiday HAS to be a celebration.

GOBBLES TIL YOU WOBBLE: The TURKEY

Mortons Traditional Taste has sent me in the post a lovely large Turkey crown perfect for my family…and for days of leftovers…in the traditional Thanksgiving way of course.

The bird came in its own box, along with instructions for preparation. 

23380355_840422356137908_7016520960851367511_n

Morton’s Traditional Taste has lovely Norfolk free-range turkeys that are Himalayan salt aged perfectly for a tender delicious melt in your mouth Thanksgiving staple and centerpiece.

I prepared mine using classic American vintage Pineapple Sage turkey recipe my father gave me.

While the turkey was cooking and preparing the many trimmings (essential) I set the table to reflect a nice autumnal theme with elements of home including my handmade wood gift from my father last summer, which is a handmade wood cut out of my home state Wisconsin.

IMG_1755

Okay, table set and prepared I’m now going to reveal my fathers ever so juicy and tender…

SAGE AND PINEAPPLE TURKEY – DOWNLOAD

IMG_1797img_1790.png

Now we need the important trimmings,

This can vary greatly depending on what your family and your part of the US usually do. Where I’m from (the Mid-West) the usuals include stuffing, sweet potato casserole, buttered rolls, and green bean casserole. Most recipes and their ingredients will be easy enough to get hold of.

I had quite the adventure at my local ASDA * Walmart equivalent. I found everything relatively easy except smaller marshmallow (only jumbo available) and fried onions..and settled for dried and it did the trick.

So for the trimmings I made…

IMG_1804

IMG_1809

Green Bean Casserole

I made my Green Bean Casserole in a Slow Cooker using this recipe from Lecreme del Crumb, adding dried onions instead of fried.

http://lecremedelacrumb.com/2015/10/slow-cooker-green-bean-casserole.html

IMG_1810

Dinner Rolls

IMG_1811

Bacon Wrapped Brussel Sprouts

Here is where I found the recipe for these earthy and salty treats 🙂

https://fitfoodiefinds.com/2014/11/bacon-wrapped-brussels-sprouts/

IMG_1813

Honey Maple Roasted Carrots with Pomegranate

Recipe found here:

https://thecafesucrefarine.com/honey-maple-roasted-carrots/

IMG_1814

Smoked Oyster and Bacon Stuffing

My girl Martha’s recipe can be found here:https://www.marthastewart.com/863002/smoked-oyster-and-bacon-stuffing?czone=food/thanksgiving-center/thanksgiving-center-dishes&gallery

IMG_1802

Forgot to take a picture of the Sweet Potato Casserole- But this might help give you an idea of what it all looked like on my plate.

Also, I made the Turkey gravy with the leftover juices and a bit of cornflour (super simple).

But let’s pour the champagne and carve the turkey!

IMG_1836

23782398_841977692649041_66854056_n.jpg

You can see the sweet potato casserole with a giant toasted marshmallow on top in the front of my plate.

Sweet Potato Casserole recipe :

http://flavormosaic.com/sweet-potato-casserole-marshmallows

The tricky thing was the mini marshmallows. I just cut the jumbos in half and baked 🙂

THE DESSERT:

If you’re like me and not every other British person I don’t classify Sweet Potato Casserole as desert…yes marshmallow is traditionally a sweet…but when on sweet potato casserole…it is nothing but acting like a seasoning of sorts.

Crazy right?

Wrong.

Leave us Americans to eating dessert for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

But really, I did make a proper dessert. A Pecan Pie Cheesecake

A gooy oohy yummy nutty PERFECT autumn dessert.
Husband adds custard like a brit and I add ice cream like it should be enjoyed.

IMG_1819

I merged a normal cheesecake and added the traditional Pecan Pie topping.

https://omgchocolatedesserts.com/pecan-pie-cheesecake

I kept my pecans chopped and left some whole as well for a nicer look…in my opinion.

And of course, we couldn’t just leave Weston out on the fun! So since we beginning weaning him using Baby Led Weaning practices he got to enjoy his very own little Thanksgiving dinner as well.

 

23781962_842101545969989_1233524379_n23782198_842101542636656_1844804330_n

 

Our bellies are full so we all took a nice little nap together and watched The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

IMG_1775

We all had a wonderful time celebrating Thanksgiving for the first time as family and had leftovers all week of turkey dinners. I am so thankful for having a wonderful, healthy and happy family.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all 🙂

 

MAMA CATES X

 

My Skin Care Collection: The Good and The Bad

I’ve been majorly sucking in the skincare department for far too long now and I’ve been trying my best to at least cleanse, tone and moisturise a few times a week. 

I love buying skincare but often forget to use it as often as I should. I always try new products and making sure I do all the steps  but I’ve been neglecting myself for long enough…simply going makeup free has improved my skin but now I want to perfect it. So I’ve been trying my best to look after my skin a little better. This week has been a great reminder with taking the time for two clay mask on while I managed a bubble bath. 

My skin hates everything, hormones, heat, and wind. Most the product I purchase are redness reducing or a calming mask. Finding the right products can be hard as my skin changes so much. So that makes it pretty difficult to find products that work for me but I’ve plunged into my rather ridiculously large stash of products and these are my current favourites:

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish : has been a favourite of mine since moving to the UK, and I always use this the most as it’s the easiest when in the shower. My skin loves it and I can always tell if I’ve not used it in a while. If I’m in the bath I will leave it on for a little longer as a sort of quick fix mask and it’ll sort out any breakouts.


I’ve acquired different Clinique products and Three Step Systems starting when I was breaking out when I first came to the UK and recently a sensitive collection since my skin has cleared but redness has continued. I have always loved the simplicity of Clinique for a general simple and clean routine for my skin. I always have trouble finding a toner that doesn’t break me out or dry my skin to buggery but this makes my skin so soft!


I got the Lierac Paris Comfort Peel and it’s my favourite product for when I get stuburn chin spots This is basically a game changer for me and my off again on again spots! I use this after applying cleanser and toner. I’ve also been using it randomly since having really bad flair ups to cool my face down and help the pain. You can feel it working and I love love love love this!


The Clean and Clear Dual Action Moisturizer is a close second (purchased in the USA). Helps treats spots and acts as a great moisturiZer. 


Bio Oil is just pretty much awesome. Used since pregnancy and beyond to prevent stretch marks- and also use as moisturising face oil.


Talking of moisturising this is my stick in your travel bag, purse, ect go to. Garner Moisture and Nourish is a thick and creamy perfect cold- morning pick me up. It really wakes up my eyes when I’m feeling tired! 


Now for my favourite clay mask: Quick Fox Facials- Calming Clay Mask. This is my stress repeater/ night “mama time” in the bath mask. It calms down my skin after an exfoliating session and smells sweet. The calming clay is almost heated when applied and cool when dry. My favourite thing to do is put a warm towel over my face for a few minutes and escape while I let it soak in. 
Now for my two favourite application ready mask. 

1st- Detoskin Gold Wrapping Mask:

I feel luxurious and like Kim Kardashian or something when I put this on. Again, this is hydrating and moisturising. Imagine wrapping your face in warm gold silk. I like sitting in this mask for as long as possible to let all that 24 pure gold into my skin….

2nd: (NEW) When: The Last Choice- U and Your Skin Exclusive

After my amazing facial last week I opened this bad boy ( and a glass of wine) and relived my facial all over. Add hydration to my skin has become top priority and using this mask has helped me achieve and maintain my new healthy skin! 

Now the $hiT List:

I am Not a fan of grainy textured mask I’ve come to realise. I gave Organik Botanik a go purchasing two product the oatmeal face scrub and the brown sugar face scrub. 

My skin is just too sensitive for this, and application is really difficult. 

The products smell Amazing: but the results are simply redness and nothing 🙂 I love how the products smell so I’ll have to be on the look out for non-scrub products. 


Normally I like Garner but I learned the cheaper the wipes the possibility of a crap product. These dry out pretty much instantly once opened. However I use to apply my cleansing polish. 

A mah product: Clearasil Rapid (I don’t think so) Action Treatment Cream. I love this size of this but it simply hasn’t shown any results. Just sitting in my basket for the fun of it I guess ! 

So that’s my current skincare regime! What I use and what is pretty much useless in their original form. 

I’m not going to lie and say I do it every night because some days it’s a miracle if I actually get changed to go to bed but so far so good on the skin front! I really notice a difference whenever I have a good set of skincare so I’m hoping this will keep up the good work.
I have these in my bathroom to use as my skin changes and that’s why count. 

I have to admit to not being particularly frequent with facials as being a new mom my time for skin care has been put on the back burner. But as my skin changes with motherhood, so will my  skin care regime. I struggle for time mainly and to remind myself to take some time for a little TLC.  However when I met skin guru and celebrity skin therapist and fellow MAMA BOSS, Lousie Thomas-Minns owner of U and Your Skin she had invited me to try the U and Your Skin Signature Facial and take some well deserved MAMA TLC.

shop

U and Your Skin is a lovely salon close to St.Andrews St in Norwich which specialises in targeted, results-driven skin treatments and a 3D skin assessment planning. Their  staff are all very friendly, and whilst it’s treatment rooms are stylish and sleek, they also cosy and welcoming.

I was booked in for my 3D consultation, and the reputed U and Your Skin Signature facial with Louise who incorporated the 3D skin care philosophy approach to skin health, using scientific, nutritional and holistic philosophy designed to nurture my skin back to health. She used only products which she has hand-picked for the best in ingredient technology to use on the skin.

After I arrived, my appointment began with a consultation and 3D skin analysis in order for Louise to help me to find exactly where my skin is currently at, what it’s lacking in and what products and treatments will help me to improve it.

We had a chat about my current regime and lifestyle, and any concerns I had skin care wise. This is were I explained I liked/needed caffeine and how the every day stresses of motherhood can sometimes leave me in less then ideal stressful state.
But today was not about stress…it was about sitting back, relaxing and obtaining some of my skin radiance again.

treatment

Next it was into a treatment room for my facial and onto literally the comfiest bed I think I’ve ever laid on (it was literally me shaped – a kind of body formed shape which felt amazing to my perpetual bad back from all the late night dream feeds with Weston!)

The U and Your Skin Signature Facial, is a 90 minute facial (but honestly fells longer with the incorporated shoulder massage) using deep cleansing methods, mask therapy and up to 3 types of massage therapy, including our unique ‘wake up’ massage.” Louise used Vitage products to bring me help me bring the lack of radiance back into my skin. She started with a light pressure foot massage (heaven), to get my feet and body nice and relaxed. Louise used a combination of treatments for my skin including these products below that are available on her store website.

Vitage Revitalising Daily Cleanse 

Medik8 Glow Oil

Vitage Skin Def SPF 30

Vitage Age Defense Eye Firming Serum

Vitage Age Defense Peptide Cream

Vitage Hydrating Mask

Overall my main concern was my dull looking skin and tired eyes, as I’m approaching my mid-twenties I also want to prepare my skin ready to age healthy and gracefully.

Clearer, brighter, firmer skin is the result after my 90 minutes in heaven with Louise.

facials

I have to say this facial was amazing – it was unlike any other facial I’ve had before. After plenty of cleansing, a treatment was applied to my skin and and then activated using a vibrating wand that gently went over my skin and removed imperfections ( this feels refreshing, and like a little gentle massage).

Then the mask – the best bit! A light mask was applied all over my face (including over my chest, and then covered with a hot cloth on my face that honestly felt like was in my mothers womb again…I know I am weird but this was my first thought of isolation, warmth and comfort…but this is optional if you are claustrophobic!) I was given a heavenly shoulder massage, and I sat in comfort nearly napping letting all the lovely mask soak in. Then it was lightly washed away and some very aromatic serums were applied to finalised my facial holiday.

After the I  had finished, I grabbed a cup of cold cucumber water and slowly got dressed wanting to lay in the treatment bed and not go back to regular life for the rest of the weekend. But I had to head to reception and thank Louise and her staff. There I picked up an exclusive WHEN- The Last Choice take home treatment mask to try to relieve my experience again when I’ve had a long day and needed some TLC at home. * Will review in next post*

youandyourskinlouise

It’s rare for me to leave a salon post facial not looking red and flushed and to be honest, feeling a bit of a mess, but I had no redness whatsoever, despite my mega reactive skin, and I felt glowy and smooth from the minute I left. I haven’t worn makeup since my facial and really dont feel I need to just as yet..feeling hydrated and happy!

I also felt my redness was reduced significantly, and my skin has been calm and clear since my treatment. I literally cannot wait to book my next facial, and I highly recommend it for someone wanting to improve their skin, maybe dont have the time to wear much makeup and feeling confident enough to go makeup free even!

 

Mama Cates x

*this post contains PR samples and complimentary treatments, but as always, I never recommend anything I don’t love or wouldn’t purchase myself.

 

My slightly addictive skin loving breakfast…

Granted if you have a nut allergy I apologise in advance as this isn’t going to be a great recipe for you.

This granola is my go to breakfast! Sure I love eggs & smoked salmon but this is the main stay of my weekday breakfast & we make at least one batch a week. 

My husband is constantly amused at how much I heap into my bowl followed by ‘Are we nearly out of that again?!’ So I only hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Oh & see my notes at the bottom as to why this is also amazing for skin health too!

U & your Skin loving Granola:

Makes a ruddy great batch! Store in a large Kilner (Mason) jar.

  • 500 grams Rolled oats (the big ones)
  • 500 grams buckwheat flakes
  • 2 tbsp Coconut oil
  • 50 grams Hazelnuts 
  • 100 grams walnut pieces
  • 100 grams almonds
  • 30 grams sunflower seeds
  • 30 grams pumpkin seeds
  • 30 grams chia seeds
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp Maple syrup 

Melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan, then add all of the other ingredients to it & combine well.

Spread out onto a non stick baking tray (I line mine with parchment paper for ease of removal afterwards) & then bake for 15 mins on 180 degrees. Gently stir half way through & check the nuts aren’t burning.

Serve with your choice of Greek yogurt, almond milk, rice milk, blueberries, strawberries &/or 1/2 banana.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE PRINTABLE RECIPE CARD:

U&YOUR SKIN LOVING GRANOLA

This granola is firstly packed with protein which is essential for the repairing building blocks of the skin. Secondly the nuts & seeds provide a good chunk of the essential fats of Omega 3 & 6 that your skin needs to stay hydrated & to replenish the delicate, protective lipid barrier. These fats are also reduce inflammation in the body making it vital for anyone with inflammatory skin issues such as Acne, Psoriasis, Eczema & premature Ageing.

Louise Thomas-Minns

U & Your Skin Therapist

http://uandyourskin.co.uk

 

Whether you’re a new mom or you’ve been momming hard for several years, we all have one thing in common — not enough time for ourselves.

Plus, you’re probably more than a little tired. In your pre-mom days, you may have had an elaborate skin care routine to produce a perfect complexion, or had the time to spend perfecting your makeup each morning.

But now? It’s time to simplify. The importance of skin care is always relevant but now I am a mother its one of the most important aspects of my beauty routine.

IMG_0617

Most days my skin is dull and sensitive prone to redness and lack of shine. This week follow me on my skin care perfecting journey. I’ll get expert advice from celebrity skin care therapist and busy boss mum, Louise Thomas-Minns who will also treat me to a to a well deserved facial. I’ll be ransacking my bathroom collecting all the skin care products I’ve managed to acquire and reviewing what has worked-and what hasn’t, and finally I’ll be sharing a skin healthy easy recipe for busy moms/mums on the go.

Weston is teething this month and cuddling with a poorly baby and being up at all hours of the night makes taking time to care for my skin very important if I dont want to look like a zombie all week.

Stick around this week and make sure you follow my blog so you can read all the exciting things coming up this week 🙂

 

 

 

Pumpkin Patchin’ 🎃🎃🎃🎃

Last weekend we attended Hill Farm Shop just outside Norwich to do Weston’s first pumpkin patchin’ 

We captured a few pictures and made some lovely memories along the way. 

I invited a Photography friend of mine who is also American and has his own blog…

http://a-story-from-dad.blogspot.co.uk

His wonderful wife Jodie, who I made fast friends with…

https://faithtrustandalittlebabydust.wordpress.com/

And of course their beautiful baby girl Willow!

Both our families helped eachother by taking these great photos.

Normally I can just capture Weston and Ritchie and it was great to be in front of the camera with them both! 

We had such a great day making memories, new friends and creating new traditions.

*the best part was discussing all the similarities our American/British households have in common 🙂 

-Make sure you check out The Clarke’s blogging adventures! 

*follow them on Instagram 

@storyfromdad @jodielousia 

Last weekend I was invited into the Clinique beauty counter inside Boots-Intu Chapelfield, Norwich to learn all about their You-Time services, by the business manager, Molly May O’Brien.

IMG_0413

You-Time services cater to busy mamas like myself who love a bit of ‘You Time’ but can’t find a sitter and need to take the little ones along with, or maybe in my case… just needed a GLAM boost at 9am while out running errands with my nearly four month old!

IMG_0384

They offer complimentary services from anywhere in between five minutes to twenty minutes long.

In my case, Weston was awake and I just wanted a quick ‘pick me up’ that gave me that “Pregnancy Glow” that fast faded when Weston started waking me up wanting to play in the mornings.

Before jumping into the products, Molly May asked me about my skincare concerns and guided me through a skin diagnostic test. My two major concerns were dryness and radiance. You can try the quiz at your local beauty counter, or online here.

l

According to the diagnostic test… I am Skin Type 1.0, which means I have Dry Skin and Molly May taught me all about the 3-Step skin care routine which consists of using the Extra Mild Liquid Facial Soap, 1.0 Clarifying Lotion (which is liquid exfoliater and also alcohol free), then finally the Dramatically Different Moisturiser.

Molly May then gave me samples of each to try on my own at home.

But I came for “The Glow”. My skin felt dull and I felt it lacked radiance and needed a pick me up to make running errands with the baby less ‘scrummy mummy’ and more ‘yummy mummy’.

Molly May said give me five minutes…

The Five Minute Glow

IMG_0386

Molly May said she had a three step routine that would take me from dull to darling in five minutes…

1. Conceal – A MAMA MUST DO. Sometimes I skip foundation and just swipe across and blend under the eyes.

http://www.clinique.com/product/1596/6088/makeup/concealers/line-smoothing-concealer#/shade/Light

2. Highlight (Add Moisturiser)- A lovely beauty trick taught to me by Molly May was to run the highlighter stick through the moisturiser to add an even dewier look to your cheekbones for that extra glow.

http://www.clinique.com/product/14346/34748/makeup/contouring/chubby-stick-sculpting-highlight#/shade/Hefty-Highlight

IMG_0396

3. Spray- To set the look and add hydration!

http://www.clinique.com/product/1687/5449/skin-care/moisturizers/moisture-surge-face-spray-thirsty-skin-relief

IMG_0393

Mama Cates Tip: Simply bring this with you in your nappy bag to spray yourself while nursing to stay cool and feel hydrated *dont forget to drink plenty of water as well*

Clinique offers complimentary You-Time services and a free treat each time you visit. Make sure you book well in advance if you would like an afternoon service as they tend to get busy around lunch time. However, if you want to pop in there for a morning they will likely have an open chair for you…and tablet or colouring books to keep your little one busy while you enjoy You-Time.

IMG_0401

At the end of your service you will receive a stamp card. Simply attend six services and receive a free goodie bag full of things to try!

IMG_0566.JPG

Make sure you stick around for my Clinique goodie bag review…

 

 

 

 

Macaron Day 2018

Macarons & More – Norwich, UK
ProsFree Goody Bag, Guessing the Mystery Flavor Correctly, and Lucky Charm Macaron.
Cons: Not winning a golden ticket *who doesn’t want to feel like Willy Wonka*, and the Watermelon Macaron. 

On September 9th, customers waited in line for Macaron Day hosted by Macarons and More in The Royal Arcade in Norwich city center. They had formed around from the colourfully decorated shop windows, discussing the creations inside.

It was around 9:30am, and everyone was excited to go inside. Not only did they have limited edition treats to purchase but they also had a giveaway. The excitement of finding a golden ticket in your macaron bag would result in you winning another box of macarons, pencil or mug, and even a cookery course taught by Tim Kinnaird. Unfortunately I was not a winner, and so I might have to try next year, or the year after…or after that.

Okay, I probably will continue to buy these macarons regardless of a Golden Ticket. But who doesn’t like felling like Willy Wonka, right?

Below are just a few of the snaps I took of the creations and store front.

IMG_0269

People in line waiting though The Royal Arcade.

ntitled-0278

Beautifuly decorated shop windows.

IMG_0273

Childrens ‘ Design Your Own Macaron’.

IMG_0306

Macaroon Macron Macaron

IMG_0303

Bento Box

IMG_0302

Clam and Pearl and Snickers * I forgot they had this one…wish I would have got this now…

IMG_0301

Caramel Sweet Corn

IMG_0299

Full display of creations

IMG_0296

Bagel-a-ron (not brave enough)

IMG_0294

Full display of creation cont.

IMG_0292

Ritchie and Weston waiting in line.

IMG_0323

Tim K. and assistant serving customers with a big smile.

IMG_0325

Tim Kinnaird is a Master Chef finalist, cookbook author, and owner of Macarons & More and has created many different flavors and designs for the special Macaron Day.

IMG_0326

View from stairs down to shop. The store is clean, bright and modern.  

IMG_0329

Sales assistant helping child.

IMG_0330

FRIED CHICKEN ??

IMG_0331

The line moved quick, which was impressive considering there was only three staff working. But I was really impressed that Tim was serving and I had the chance to ask what his favourite flavour was, and he replied “Lucky Charms”. With no hesitation I added the Lucky Charms Macaron to our box of nine.

IMG_0332

Mix and Choose box of nine or 12. The macarons are displayed with elegance and counters just low enough for the little ones to explore and choose a flavour. 

IMG_0337

Leaving the shop with goody bags and nine macarons for afternoon tea later when we got home.

This shop has been my favorite since moving to the United Kingdom three years ago and whenever I’m shopping in Norwich, this my normal afternoon treat. 

 

IMG_0444

GOODY BAG- Included: Three FREE macarons, Watermellon Marshmellows, Hot Chocolate,  and button. I included the shopping bag and the box of nine macarons that I purchased.

IMG_0450

“Support Your Local Baker” Pin.

Macaron Taste Test:

We got home…made a cup of tea, to share. We sat down and devoured these treats. I cut each treat in half so both my husband and I could try each kind.

Below you will find what we thought of each one.

IMG_0460

Afternoon Taste Test…with an English cup of tea.

IMG_0463

Our purchased macrons- the caramel one Ritchie ate in Norwich. Greedy boy.

IMG_0466

Afternoon Tea Macaron. Decorated to be what resembles dregs…tasty dregs.

IMG_0468

Oh my surprise! JAM and Scone. This macaron tasted mostly of jam, scone and less like English Traditional tea. Great Surprise!

IMG_0474

Classic Lemon. Taste of real lemon, not that over-powering false candy flavour. I would describe  this to be more like lemon curd because of the creamy filling.

IMG_0475

Toffee. Light and not to sickly like you would expect, which could make eating more of these easier…

IMG_0479

Chocolate Orange- Husband’s new favourite. Taste of orange false flavour, but I believe this is more along the lines of a Jaffa Cake in which the Orange over powers the chocolate. However, this was quite delicious as I am a fan of those Orange flavored Tooties Pops (American Candy) and this was similar.

Macarons and More had an exciting challenge for their customers in store that day. The “Guess the Flavour” challenge.  And if you guessed the mystery flavour correctly, you would receive that macaron for free.

My experienced sweet tooth was up for the challenge. And who doesn’t like a free macaron?

*After tasting the purple goo that was delivered to me via a stick from the container of purple goo. I tasted hints of nutmeg…but that just was not it. And the purple colour was throwing me off. So I asked… ‘ Does the colour correspond with the flavour?’, and the sales assistant replied ‘Yes’.

Mmm…a mystery indeed. But did you really think I couldn’t do it on the second guess? Your wrong, and of course I did…I have a superior tasting pallet and was the first to guess correctly that morning.

IMG_0483

THE PURPLE MYSTERY MACARON

IMG_0484

Sweet and hits of nutmeg…very autumn tasting…have you guessed it yet?            Sweet Potato! My favorite sort of potato! Look closely and you can see the bits of real sweet potato used in this macaron. Thumbs up to Macarons and More.

IMG_0489

Cappuccino. My most ordered macron would have to be the Cappuccino flavored, as I’m a bit of a coffee freak and it makes the perfect after lunch treat. This macaron is strong, and by that I mean if you just wanted to order one macaron and say you had dessert…this is the one.

IMG_0492

Jelly and Ice Cream. A Neapolitan sundae dream.

IMG_0493

I have never had Jelly and Ice cream until we attened a childs first birthday party this summer. I was amazing how well the combination worked.  I was so excited to try this one, and I was not disappointed. The cream in the middle taste of American Cake Batter Ice Cream with strawberry jelly that goes on PB&J’s. Classic Kids Favorite.

IMG_0495

Watermelon and Marshmellow. This was my least favourite macaron. I tasted more of the water than the melon. I would taste the seeds but couldnt put my hands on what they were made of. They looked so amazing but I wasn’t too impressed with the over all flavour.

IMG_0500

Lucky Charm Macaron. American Cereal…had to try. And of course Tim’s Favourite.

IMG_0501

God Bless America. This was the best macaron of the day. Best described as a melted marshmellow and rice crispy dream. This macaron tasted just like Lucky Charms but when in macaron form taste like Rice Crispy Treats. * mostly the melted marshmellow part*

IMG_0502

Looking great with crushed cereal decorated on the side. I wish they would keep this one for good.

Overall, my experience with the Macarons and More- Macaron Day was positive and fun.     I was up and running early in the morning for the 40 minute drive to Norwich, and with the baby and husband out the door before 8:30…takes some serious motivation.

The staff was really helpful and had smiles throughout.  Its great and exciting to see as a regular customer, that the owner was so involved in making experiences for his customers unique and enjoyable.

I believe Macarons and More will always be a must-do when about Norwich with the family. I love how Macarons and More cater to everyone of all ages and I will continue to stop here as Weston grows and we can enjoy picking out macarons together.

Even if your not into macarons, the shop has much….more. 

So if your in Norwich, go check it out for yourself!

11 Royal Arcade
Norwich
NR2 1NQ 
 
To find out more about what Macarons and More has to offer…

https://www.macaronsandmore.com/

Mama Cates