Tag Archives: lunch

Lunch and photography workshop – so much fun we could have done it all day

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I spent last weekend and most of this week battling some horrid virus type thing that laid me flat and drained me of energy and enthusiasm but I was determined to be well again by Thursday.  I’d entered a blog competition with one of my favourite bloggers ever, Fat Mum Slim, to go to a photography workshop and lunch with Chantelle, awesome photographer Rachel Devine (Sesame Ellis) and the lovely Alex from Olympus.  Fifteen lucky winners got to bring one of their children along to the QT Hotel on the Gold Coast to learn how to take photos with their child, not just of their child.

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Choosing which child I was taking along was easy!  Bronte has been taking an interest in photography for a while now and although her pics are usually quite random (and some are sneak attacks on us when we’re not looking… thank goodness for the delete button as I don’t need extra chins, thanks kiddo!) she also manages a few quite good ones where you can see the thought behind the photo.  And, besides, a little mother/daughter time never hurts!

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After a great talk by Rachel and some tips we all got given (loaned! they counted them and wanted them back!) cameras from Olympus.  The kids were given the Olympus Tough range and they’re fantastic… I can totally see Bronte wanting one of those for Christmas.  It’s a little bigger than her current Olympus but they’re designed for kids or people who are very adventurous.  I’d never used that one before but fortunately Alex, the marketing manager from Olympus, was on hand for when the kids dashed back to our workshop space with a few extra questions.

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Bronte made a friend immediately and they buddied up together, sharing ideas and thoughts on where to put their props and how to get the best shot.  All the kids were given a toy animal (Bronte got a dog, I saw a panda, a horse, a budgie and a deer as well as many others) to use and were encouraged to be creative.

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One of the joys of the QT is how it has some awesome little quirks.  We took the elevator and stopped on random floors.  Near the elevator bank was a chair that had been painted and every floor had a different themed chair.  The girls loved using them for their photo ideas and they got super snap-happy and turned their cameras on us – here I am taking a photo of my papparazzi pack.  I am soooo not cut out to be a celebrity – I squealed like a girl when they started, turned and ran.  *lol*

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I loved seeing how Bronte absorbed some of the tips that Rachel gave us about shooting from different perspectives (I know I usually shoot from my eye level and I need to get higher or lower sometimes for different shots) and Bronte happily got low to the ground.  She also used props around her and was aiming for something quite arty here, I think.

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It’s all about positioning for the perfect shot and not being afraid to put yourself in an awkward spot to get it.  The girls well and truly nailed it here!  Well, the positioning bit, I need to go through the shots to find out how this one turned out.

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Of course, they’re still at the age where they can happily play up to the camera.  In this one they were showing off their toy props while pretending to be game show hostesses.  This was probably the only time (apart from lunch!) that they put the cameras down.

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Speaking of lunch, it was fabulous – gorgeous salads, quiches, rolls and wraps, a fruit platter and this awesome dessert.  How awesome was it?  Well, here’s Bronte being sprung eating her second one.  *lol*

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Part of the little goody bag that Bronte got included the kaledioscope camera she’s wearing around her neck in most of the photos.  I couldn’t resist using it to take her photo… so much fun!

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This is one of the few photos Bronte took without her toy dog prop in it.  If you look carefully you can see me.  Well, my reflection.  We forgot to take a group photo and I didn’t remember to do a selfie, either so this is about all you’ll see of me.

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And I couldn’t turn up empty handed, especially knowing we were getting a little goody bag or two.  I got given the most amazing decorated biscuit from LoveBites that you can see in the top collage – it’s an Olympus camera with edible glitter and everything.  It looked stunning and it tasted just as good.  I can’t bake but fortunately I do have access to the best raw honey on the Gold Coast so Bronte and I took along a jar of fresh honey for Chantelle, Rachel and Alex to say thank you.  It was such a fun day with lots of laughter, great food and interesting people to chat to.  We were reluctant to leave as we were having so much fun but we left with big smiles on our faces.

Holidays are coming but I can’t escape the lunchboxes

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Ask any Mum one of the joys of school holidays and she’ll no doubt say “I don’t have to pack school lunchboxes, yay!” Of course, if you have one in daycare two days a week and one in vacation care several days a week then you can’t escape it.  I’m still yet to decide whether I like getting the days food sorted in the morning and then just handing out lunchboxes or whether I’d rather just hand out food on request.

If my boys ate “normal” amounts of food it wouldn’t be so bad – but look at the picture!  And this is only for the boys, I have a daughter as well and she can match them bite for bite if she’s so inclined!  What they’ll be like as teenagers scares me but I suspect meals will involve A LOT of pasta.

The two year old’s lunchbox routine is the same no matter what.  He has the clear container (top middle) with fruit of various kinds and a yoghurt for morning tea.  Lunch is the green container and it’s a sandwich on wholemeal or multigrain (usually raw honey but sometimes Vegemite or peanut butter), some cut up cheese and a banana.  Afternoon tea is the blue container with more fruit, cheese and some popcorn in it.

The seven year old has an extra container here, the small blue divided container at the bottom.  Normally he’s home for afternoon tea so I don’t need to pack it, it’s different during the holidays.  He eats about that amount (1/4 packet of rice crackers, several slices of ham, cheese cubes, sultanas and a banana) anyway.  And, yes, he takes two quite decent sized lunchboxes to school every day – one for morning tea and one for lunch.  In this picture he’s got a mandarin, a yoghurt, a sandwich and freshly popped popcorn for morning tea, lunch is two pieces of fruit, a sandwich, cheese sticks and ham slices and more popcorn.

The amount of food astonishes me, they even eat more dinner than I do most nights of the week – the exception being when it’s heavy on the vegetables!  And yet they’re not at all overweight so I have no idea where it goes.  I wish I did… I wish I had the same metabolism!  On the upside, they’re not really picky eaters and will give most things a go.  Sure, there are things they’re definitely not a fan of but on the whole I’m just happy that they do actually eat the vast amounts of food I pack and it doesn’t all come back to be thrown away!

Most definitely not a Vegemite sandwich

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The simple joys of a two year old… ice cream with topping and sprinkles.  Each mouthful was greeted with delighted anticipation at the taste and the feel of the cool ice cream, the slippery topping and the crunchy sprinkles.  I think it was totally worth watching him get a mini brain freeze (something his older brother is well renowned for!) to see the pleasure and joy he had with the ice cream.

It’s been a gorgeous spring day and we decided to really enjoy it, the husband and I took the two year old out for lunch at one of our favourite pubs where you get a water view and can watch the flocks of pelicans waiting for feeding time.  The fish and chip shop saves all their scraps of fish heads and goodness knows what else and then every afternoon they emerge from the shop with a large white bucket and start to handfeed the pelicans.  Kids are encouraged to give it a go and any adult who sounds interested is quite often told “Grab something and try it” as well.  Such a great way of getting rid of their scraps, delighting everyone around them and having everyone grab for their cameras.  I’m sure it doesn’t hurt their business, either!

Lunch was great with the most divine ribs.  I’m not entirely sure why they gave us a steak knife (I didn’t order them last time and drooled over my husband’s plate of them, I was smarter this time and ordered them as well!) with the meals, these ribs practically shimmied off the bone as you picked them up and they just melted in your mouth.  Team them with some great chips and a salad – oops, I didn’t eat it! – and it was a fantastic meal.  We’ve been trying to get out to lunch for well over a week and we finally made it and thoroughly enjoyed it. We have so many different things on our plate on a day to day basis that it was nice to actually get to sit and enjoy the time together.

Of course, tomorrow’s Vegemite sandwich is going to look rather lame in comparison after today’s lunch.  I might have to jazz it up a little… perhaps a slice of cheese and some shredded lettuce to give it some crunch.  Yep, that’s as fancy as I get!