Mandy Charlton - Photographer,Writer,Blogger

Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places, Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger, Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Run, Mandy, Run, Couch to 5K week 4


mandy charlton, running legs, couch to 5k, karrimor run trainers

So it's week 4 of Couch to 5K and it's still going extremely well, last night I went out for my longest run to date, it was 16 whole minutes of running interspersed with just a couple of minutes of walking to recover and yet again I felt that I could have continued to run when I'd finished my session, Jo Wiley is definitely proud of me this week.

My scales say I've put on 1lb again but I think that might be more to do with Le Petit Chateau, Hawthorns (more on that one in the next post) and a girls night on Saturday.  I took 3 nights off in between my last run of week 3 and my first run of week 4 so i'm not exactly feeling sprightly, fit and I think if I'm honest I still feel more rotund than I hoped I would at this stage.

I have a plan though, this arrived last week from Nutribuddy, now I know what you're thinking and yes it does look suspiciously like one of those meal replacement things.  I'll me honest, my reaction to meal replacement is a sad, unhappy, crying face but wait, before you get all maudlin and start sending sympathy...

the Nutribuddy 14 day pack in my garden

I have a plan, Nutribuddy sent me their kit in the hope that I'd give it a go for 2 weeks and I don't even have to use it like a meal replacement, all I plan to do is replace cakes with shakes, yes that's right, chocolate sculpting whey shake instead of gooey chocolate fudge cake, I'm not going to use the vitamins because I'm already totally vitamin'd up to the max with my daily Vitl which is my monthly vitamin subscription, an indulgence for my body if it were.  There's a suggested diet book and lots of lovely yummy recipes which are things I'd cook anyway, lots of Quinoa and salads and healthy yummy tasty things.  One thing I definitely haven't tried before though are their hunger fix capsules, so what you do is take them an hour before your lunch or dinner and then apparently some kind of miracle happens and you just eat less.

So here's the thing, I'm a size 14 and I've been this way, pretty happy for a couple of years now but just for 1 whole week I would like to be a size 12, I'm not looking further ahead because it's never happened yet but combined with running I want to give my legs and my knees a little extra incentive to be super bouncy and maybe I can get my 11 and a half stone of me to get down to 11 stone and that really would be a miracle.

It's a 2 week plan and Rome was not built in a day but if this gives me a little bit of a leg up in the continuing adventure that is me respecting my body in the way I should have done in my twenties it's got to be a good thing.

I'm not replacing meals with shakes though, you can do meal replacements if you want to but Mandy cries when Mandy gets hungry or "hangry".  I think I was supposed to do one of those in the mirror look at my lardy tummy photos but believe me when I say that no one needs to see that and I don't even own a full length mirror, be sure if I suddenly end up with a paddle flat tummy I will be lording it about though, or lets just take a moment to think about that, i'm 42, I've delivered 3 big babies, had 2 C-Sections, and had a radical hysterectomy, no one ever needs to see my tummy, I don't even look at it myself if I can help it! So here's me with lovely Elanor, I have lots of squidgy bits which need improvement and that's all you need to know.

Mandy charlton, photographer and elanor at her wedding party in doncaster


Things I'm loving this week, running in the rain, it's empowering, I feel like I'm in a running movie, that is until someone fast goes past me and I feel like I'm standing on a slow conveyor belt, in fact I'm so slow that when someone fast ran past me last night I had a momentary wander if I was actually running in reverse.  I'm also loving running to the Hamilton soundtrack, get it in your ears, it's a musical, I suspect Rent was the momma and Eminem was the papa, it's part rap, part camp, part awesome, I never thought I would like it and by some strange parallel Abigail discovered it on the same day and we both love it just as much as each other!

A 14 day weight loss kit with Nutribudy costs £34.99 and they sent me one of those in exchange for following my progress, as ever the words are mine, the views are honest and the hunger pangs wouldn't be very much fun on one of those actual diets, this is just a helping hand people, I repeat, just a helping hand.

Share:

Monday, June 27, 2016

Le Petit Chateau, Northumberland, Not Just a Wedding Venue

northumberland wedding venue, otterburn, newcastle photographer mandy charlton


Last week I was granted exclusive access to Le Petit Chateau in Otterburn, Northumberland  for 24 hours, I took along my lovely friend Laura from Sharpe Recruitment and we could not believe just how lucky we were to be not only one of the first guests to stay there but also to be pretty much the only guests staying at the chateau that evening.  We found out that it had only just been decided that the chateau is to be used as a hotel as well as an amazing wedding venue which makes me perhaps the happiest travel writer around about that decision because a more magical enchanting place you could not dream of staying.
northumberland wedding venue and hotel, otterburn, newcastle photographer mandy charlton

I've long been a fan of the shabby chic fabulousness of the apartment groups venues, As You Like It, Newton Hall, just two of my favourite places to spend time at or shoot weddings, when I go there I feel at home for it's a style I love, something I surround myself with at home, I take away ideas for my own home decor whenever I'm there.
northumberland wedding venue and hotel, otterburn, newcastle photographer mandy charlton

Let me tell you though about Le Petit Chateau... french, art deco, Mediterranean, rustic, all words which could describe this very special place, it epitomises France in the summer for me, white walls with blue shutters which open onto grand courtyards, flowers in window boxes and a quaint old french van, with the sun shining it feels more like the Cote d'Azure than rural Northumberland, I certainly never expected to find Palm trees in Otterburn.  The attention to detail in the rooms is beyond reproach, wooden coffee trays bursting with local products, including Pumphreys coffee specially blended for the chateau and yes all rooms have their own cafetiere.
northumberland wedding venue and hotel, otterburn, newcastle photographer mandy charlton

The rooms start at a very reasonable £125 per night, that's for a reasonable sized double or twin, if you want a feature bathroom and more room it's worth finding the extra because some of the feature rooms are simply stunning.
northumberland wedding venue and hotel, otterburn, newcastle photographer mandy charlton

Of course, first and foremost this was a hotel which was planned to be a wedding venue and you only need to view the centrepiece, the Belle Epoque, and you realise that if you want to get married in a building which essentially looks like it's come from your favourite Disney movie then this is the place to be.  Your guests will feel quite special as they meander through the pretty courtyard, darling gardens or as they sit watching the fire fountain, yes a fire fountain, brought in all the way from Vegas, I've never seen anything like it, it's a big statement sure to impress although I must be honest and say I could smell the faint whiff of the gas it takes to power it, a minor irk though.
northumberland wedding venue and hotel, otterburn, newcastle photographer mandy charlton

Dale, the manager could not have been more wonderful and we really felt cared for by all of the staff who were both on duty at the chateau and also at the adjoined coaching inn, the William De Percy arms, the pub itself reminded me of the Joiners Arms, another fabulous apartment group venue, the food was homely, tasty and cooked to perfection, you must try the mango cheesecake or the baked camembert. 
northumberland wedding venue and hotel, otterburn, newcastle photographer mandy charlton


As a photographer, this new venue excites me, so many photo opportunities for portraits around the grounds, the perfect place for wedding portraits, something which I think may have been thought of in the design, as someone who sees in photographs I couldn't get enough shots and I was visualising in my mind just how amazing this place will be to shoot a wedding in.
northumberland wedding venue and hotel, otterburn, newcastle photographer mandy charlton

Whilst we were there many places around the chateau are staged to show how the rooms will look if you are having your wedding there, an exciting glimpse into the best day of your life.
northumberland wedding venue and hotel, otterburn, newcastle photographer mandy charlton

northumberland wedding venue and hotel, otterburn, newcastle photographer mandy charlton

northumberland wedding venue and hotel, otterburn, newcastle photographer mandy charlton

northumberland wedding venue and hotel, otterburn, newcastle photographer mandy charlton

northumberland wedding venue and hotel, otterburn, newcastle photographer mandy charlton

northumberland wedding venue and hotel, otterburn, newcastle photographer mandy charlton

northumberland wedding venue and hotel, otterburn, newcastle photographer mandy charlton

I'll bring you back to an important fact though, it's no longer just a wedding day, it's a romantic bolthole for the hard working parents, it's a hotel with interconnecting rooms perfect to accommodate families looking for a break in the middle of tranquil Northumberland, as we sat in the gardens with the sun beating down on us Laura and I both said we'd not only come again but we thought right now we just might never leave.

northumberland wedding venue and hotel, otterburn, newcastle photographer mandy charlton




northumberland wedding venue and hotel, otterburn, newcastle photographer mandy charlton


Le Petit Chateau will soon offer a dog friendly room, it wasn't quite ready for our stay but I hope they might just invite me back again with Holly Bobbins so I can soak up more of the mediterranean atmosphere deep in the borders of Northumberland.





If you are planning your wedding at Le Petit Chateau I'd love you to get in touch if you are looking for a wedding photographer, although I only exclusively shoot a maximum of 10 weddings each year I would jump at the chance to shoot some at Le Petit Chateau.

otterburn, northumberland, mandy charlton, travel photographer, blogger, writer







Share:

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The wedding party of Elanor and Mark

I've known Elanor since I first met her at her friends, Nina and Stephens, wedding many years ago, through the wonder of Facebook we connected and then she came to work for me.  We had many adventures together, supported each other during some pretty tough times and what started as a chance meeting at a wedding ended up in a friendship I am so grateful for.  A couple of years ago she left me for pastures new in Doncaster, she was in a course to take over the world in the career she works so hard at and so when she told me about meeting a lovely man I couldn't have been happier for her, in Mark she has found someone completely different, someone who loves and embraces her and someone who adores her gorgeous girls.

They married in Disney in May and invited Abigail and I to go down to Doncaster, stay over, party with them and also just take a few important photos.  I've since heard that for months all Elanor talked about was one photo, the first dance photo, something which became a signature shot for me for a couple of wedding seasons, it's an off camera flash shot and on many occasions Elanor was the one on the other side of the couple with the flash trying to get this very special shot.  I know how much she wanted this and this shot is not an exact science, so many variables and things which mean sometimes having all of the technical stuff right you just can't guarantee you're going get it.

Did I get it?


  Of course I did, luck was on my side and Abigail did a great job of being the flash holder!

It's always the most amazing feeling in the world to be able to photograph your friends but although I've photographed a lot of friends I've not shot a lot of their weddings, being the age I am a lot of my friends were already married before I met them, I am of course holding out for their vow renewals though.

So I got that crucially important shot, we had the most wonderful day and we got so many other wonderful photographs that I thought I would share just a few with you.  I should also say that we danced, we ate cake, I had a couple of cocktails and we had the most brilliant time celebrating the love these two have found.  In each other they have found the love they always wished for and I hope that every day continues to be amazing for them, I may not see Elanor as much as I'd like but she and her gorgeous girls will always have a place deep inside my heart.























Share:
© Mandy Charlton - Photographer,Writer,Blogger | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Designed by pipdig