Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Giggly Wigglies

Dear reader, I have a problem, it's not a big one but it's a problem just the same. The thing is you see, I can't actually get a great photo of both of my girls together. It doesn't matter when you try and photograph them or indeed how many sweeties you promise to give them afterwards, they just can sit in the same place without it turning into random silliness and giggles!

I suppose really if I'm honest this is a pretty acurate description of their characters, i don't have the alternative photo yet, thats the one where they shout scream ang pull each others hair out yet, I fear dear reader though that it's not very far away!!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Not more Christmas photos????

Actually these ones are not specifically from Christmas, I took these ones of the girls yesterday, it ws my quest to get some new decent photos of them, however the Christmas tree is currently blocking out nearly all the natural light out of the livingroom and it was far too cold to go on treks outdoors so these will have to do until I get rid of the blinkin tree. I can't believe how much I really want to rip that thing down but hey ho it will probably remain there until atleast after the new year celebrations, Paul and I decided to have a very exclusive party where we would only invite our closest friend so that just me and him again then!! Alas thats the shame about having no friends in the very near vicinity, all my friends I have met through the internet and although i have been lucky to meet many of them in person, very few of them live just around the corner!!

You'll note that we're back to normal sized photos today, blogger just refused to let me upload any images yesterday so I had to resort to teeny flock ones, today we're back, thank goodness!!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

More from a Very Charlton Christmas!

Yes more snapshots of our very lovely Christmas and boy do I need to be reminded of it, can't beleive it was only a couple of days ago, hubby went back to work today and I returned to my groundhog day of children, chores and more of the same!!

I always get a little sad at this time of year as I love Christmas so much I'm always gutted that I have to wait a whole year for more fun and frolics.

I've just tidied my desk in an effort to kickstart a little scrapping and I need to mail my boss and see if there is anything for me to do, atleast thats one great thing about working from home.

The kids have played out on their new bikes today even though it's freezing cold and Loobys nose looked a gorgeous shade of scarlet! I also decided that I should refrain from all alcohol, I was more than a little tiddly last night when I collapsed into bed at 9.30pm (I know last of the stay up and party crowd) I reckon I had consumed an entire bottle of red wine and an additional glass when were out earlier in the day so it's more than a small miracle that I have no hangover today, even so I thought after all that food and drink of the past couple of days my liver could do with a wee mini-break before we have to toast in the new year in just a few more days.

So todays photos are Abigail having her usual yearly Christmas day, dear reader it is a tradition now so I thought I should share. Also Iain receiving his prize present, a remote control Dalek.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Have yourself a merry little Christmas.

We certainly did that dear reader for just one day of perfection we laughed, we joked, we did absolutely nothing, we regressed to a childlike state and played with toys, we watched Sing-a-long Wizard of Oz and Paul and Iain played X-Box games, the kids were happy, the parents were cheery and I don't think I heard anyone cry all day, usually crying is one of the most common sounds in our house having a 3 and 4 year old and that dear reader is usually me!!

Of course Abigail had her usual Christmas huff but we're used to that by now, I'll see if I can find the photos of last years Christmas huff and we can compare them dear reader!!

Even the cats seemed pleased with their new delux carousel house, or was that just because they could see Iains new mouse out of the corner of their eyes!

I had to upload of course Pauls "James Bond Villain" moment with Loobys new Fur real Cat for moments like that don't come along every day and I think it's a little priceless!!

The bottom photo I took myself last night and for a self portrait taken at the end of a long Christmas day, most of which you have spent tiddly with cava, I'm sure you'll agree was not half bad!

I hope you've all had a wonderful boxing day today, I know our friends in the states don't celebrate boxing day but for us it's been pretty much the same as yesterday, mostly relaxed and mostly on the silly side of sozzled and with that dear reader I'm off to finish my rather nice glass of red wine!!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Santa Claus is coming...

In the words of the classic pop stars Hi-5 "he's ready and on his way, time to put the stockings up, tommorrows Christmas day ay ay ay ayayay" Told you they were classic!

Yes tommorrow is indeed Christmas day and I'm blogging early today dear reader as once again, I was far far far far far too excited to sleep!

I have cookies, gingerbread and mince-pies to bake, fruit and vegetables to buy and much Bucks Fizz to be drunk before the day is old!

Yesterday I was star mum, we went to the local garden centre whereupon we bought Iain a pet of his very own, please welcome Stacey the mouse to the Charlton family everyone. No piccies as yet as Iain and Stacy in her very own travel palace went to stay with pauls dad last night, they're due back around 10.30am so i'll try and squeeze her in for her very first photoshoot at some point today!

We also bought our cats Poppy and Elphaba a new cat house, it's red and purple and shaped like a carousel complete with dancing horsies, its very cute but I'm not sure if they even like it, they just keep wandering past it, occasionally popping in but only for cat fights, maybe they think it's some kind of wrestling arena. Oh thats an idea, maybe I could sell tickets!!

Dear reader this has been my first year of blogging (my anniversary is in January) and you have been nothing but kindness to me, you've all left lovely comments and provided support when it's been needed and thats the thing dear reader, without comments a blog is merely a diary and I for one always hated a diary as it wouldn't give me advice!!

Happy Christmas dear reader, may Santa visit and fill your stockings with joy, your sacks with delight and most of all your hearts with warmth.

Friday, December 22, 2006

I'm So Excited!

You wouldn't beleive dear reader that I didn't get a wink of sleep last night, although dear reader you may have guessed that if you know me well, and the reason for my lack of shut eye, well I don't think I can control myself any longer, I'm just so excited because it's only 3 sleeps till Santas arrival and i'll be tracking him with Norad, yes it's a yearly tradition in our house we all get really excited on christmas eve we start tracking the big guy, then the kids lose interest and it's just me left acting like a 5 year old and crying out "OMG Santas just been spotted over the great wall of China" Yes dear reader hope for me is fast running out, even the funny farm gave up hope, so much so that they packed up and moved in between appointments!!

You know, this is the very first year we've not had to worry about the financial aspects, don't get me wrong up until Paul started work a month ago I was in a panic but hey I did all the christmas shopping by internet in 3 weeks, I may not have sent Christmas cards but apart from that i'm mostly the most organised I have ever been. I'm off to the supermarket this morning for last minute gifts and the grocery shopping, am I phased that it will be one of the busiest days of the year, why no dear reader, I am positively brimming with yuletide joys of the season and cannot wait and if all else fails atleast I have my 3 year old for protection. One mostly sensible thing is that the kids don't actually finish school till this afternoon so only 2 hyper-exciteable days instead of the usual week. tat my dear reader is what I call a blessing sent from above!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Just some Random fun!

So it's darkest December and the weather isn't perfect for photography. Indoor photography without flash is not at it's best, still I tried to take just a few photos today and I thought I would share them as really it's a bit of a blogging lull as well, no doubt next week i can regail you with tales of my fabulous (or disasterous Christmas) but for this week dear reader nothing really is going on in my jam packed life!!

Todays photos are firstly my fabourite fish, I'm not a fish fan but you can't really escape them when your husband has 3 4 foot fish tanks, this fish Severum Ballesterios as I call him really does have personality, when I speak to him he comes over to listen and when I ask him if I can take his photo not only does he sign the release form but he stays in one place for long enough, the same cannot be said for our Oscar or T-Bar Cichlids, fi you want to see piccies of them you'll have to wait till a day when I have more time and patience or scroll back a wee while on hubbies blog, I think he has a few.

We also have today a photo of looby playing hide and seek, sadly her hiding place (behind the apple) was not the most sneaky of places to hide and it really didn't take too much time to find her!

Lastly for today, it's me, yes my festive visit to my own blog so that in 60 years I can remember just how young, gorgeous and glamourous and if you know me all very well dear readers you'll know that last bit was firmly with my tongue in my proverbial cheek!!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Festive Family Fun

we had some super Sunday fun today with the whole family trouping off in the search for Santa and Hooray much to everyones joy we found the big guy, I don't know how he managed to squeeze us in as I'm sure it must be one of his busiest weekends of the year. The girls were so excited to see him and would have stayed for tea, cakes and a right old natter had he the time but sadly we'd already waited half an hour to see him and there was a queue of eager children a mile long behind us.

Iain said he was far to old to be messing about with visits to Santa claus and heartily refused to have his photo taken, you should note dear reader that to even manage this one was a minor miracle!

We managed to squeeze in some lunch and a wander around the garden centre as well as a ride on a roundabout, some candy floss and a stop on the way home at the local farm to pick up some organic produce for tea.

So dear reader as I sit here I can smell a gorgeous pot roast which my husband has very capably cooked and I've Napster loaded up and am whiling away this very festive afternoon with some seasonal songs ranging from the soundtrack of "Love Actually" to the very classic and much under-rated "We wish you a Wombling merry Christmas". Yes dear reader I have a musical taste which not many understand and most laugh at!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

growing and growing!

It's funny how you can see the same thing every day without noticing any difference and then one day kaboom, you notice and OMG! Thats pretty much how I feel about the girls getting bigger, just lately I haven't had much time for photography, in fact sometimes it's been hard to squeeze in life and photography has just fallen by the wayside. These photos are about the only ones I've taken over the last couple of weeks and it hit me tonight whilst I was editing them just how fast they're growing, Looby isn't my baby but a very sweet little girl and Abigail is turning into a beautiful young lady. Yes I know they're both really still my babies but it just goes to show that sometimes the things hardest to see are the ones right before your eyes.

Dear reader I must tell you I was seeing my therapist and she of course noticed just how well I am and how happy, I think it's got a lot to do with not having my mothers influence over my life and also a little to do with the fact that for the first time I am totally and completely relaxed about Christmas! I know for once that theres only the family to worry about and how easy can pleasing this lot be, just show them a big pile of toys and a few bars of Chocolate come Christmas day and they'll all be happy, as for Mr Scrapping Through Life, well much the same really, let him play with his toys, eat piles of choccy and festively drink the day through, then when the children are in bed, slip into that something which he hasn't got me yet but better get the hint and it's wayhey all the way until Boxing day!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Aww, I love a Nativity Play....

So much so that I had to share a few clips of abigails performance today. Abigail was one of the narrators and the play was called Cock-a-doodle Christmas. There's only around a minute of video and i promise it will make you smile!


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Raindrops on Roses....

Well actually rain drops on every blinkin thing if you must know as it's pouring with rain once again, honestly it's the dullest dampest December we've had for years and not even a slight promise of snow on the horizon! I tell you what does a girl have to do to get herself a white Christmas!

In other news dear reader, any of my lovely british readers catch the Royal Variety Performance last night?

My highlights were most definetly Take That ( ooh they're so hot and manly these days) and also my most favourite Idina Menzel and the Cast of Wicked performing "One short Day" and "Defying Gravity" I had goosebumps the whole way through although I'm slightly dissapointed that they have turned Glinda into some posh british mockney, yes thats sort of cockney, honestly some of her lines were a little "Dick Van Dyke" (remember Mary Poppins) for me. I thought it might have just been me but Hubby definetly agreed! I'm not due to see Wicked till february (we're going for my birthday) when Idina will be nothing more than a memory (well ledgend if you ask me) and i do hope that whoever plays Elphie in January doesn't make her British, it just wouldn't work, somethings are just best left with an american accent! Take note producers and directors if you're reading, you have been warned mwahahahahaha!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Financial Blondness!!!

Yes dear reader, it's occured, today or in fact at some point over the weekend there was a definite period of financial dumb blonded-ness, sorry to any of my blonde readership!

Upon checking our bank account this morning as I do every morning, I found that shock horror, I had dome my sums wrong and Amazon had only in fact debited some money from me today and not infact Friday when I ordered and thought it had gone.

The consequences of this wee error had me running around like a rather frantic and headless chicken trying to sort it out and avoid bank charges and divorce, sadly I only managed to avoid the divorce part, hubby was a total sweety and said we all have those bank charge moments once in a while and it has really been a while since my last bank charge moment, almost a year in fact, maybe thats what it is, 1 too many mince pies and a moment of seasonal sherry and I become financially dyslexic.

I really truly am hopeless with money but I do usually manage our bank account so that we don't have bank charges, occasionally it goes a bit belly up but thank goodness for that famous quote which reads to err is human or in my case "if it can happen then it probably will and mostly at exactly the wrong time"

Until tommorrow dear reader and don't forget to read over the next week as we have 2 Christmas performances to attend, it's iains tommorrow and Abigails on Wednesday, photo ops aplenty, she said hoping!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Feeling kinda perky!

I am, isn't it great, don't you just love those days when you wake up in the mornings and actually want to get out of bed.

Yes I know life isn't entirely perfect but it's darned close! I have almost finished the Christmas shopping and I know what our Christmas plans are, I have a kazzilion presents to wrap but the children are away next weekend so thats what we have planned in their absence.

I'm really truly postively looking forward to the festive season and you know what else, my friends bunny just had baby bunnies and she's asked us if we want one, my lovely hubby said a big fat YES, don't ya just love him, so all we have to do is pick up a hutch and in a couple of weeks we'll have a flopsy mopsy baby bunny! Yeehaa to that!

The children are mostly watching festive movies today, thank goodness for Sky and the 15 movie channels it possesses!

Hubby is in the kitchen making brunch and then I'm on duty this afternoon making a lovely Lamb Sunday dinner. I used to really have an aversion to Sundays before we both worked but now it's Hubbys only day off work I find that I'm really quite enjoying them.

I hope dear reader that you too have a fabulous festive Sunday whatever you're doing!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

After all the excitement....

Of yesterdays party would you beleive that Abigail had another social engagement this evening in the shape of another party for one of her school friends, I've made 2 birthday cards in the last 2 days and as far as I'm concerned thats far too many, i hate making cards and rarely do if I can help it!

I got a complete bargain today, a Talking baby Chou Chou for Looby, it 's supposed to be just under £35 and I paid £26 including delivery. Honestly I have saved so much money this year by doing all my shopping sans internet. i'm of course so thankful that I can do this as well as it means i have managed to avoid the normal hustle and bustle of this time of year.

The funny thing of course is that a few weeks ago i was really worried about how we would afford Christmas and tommorrow I will have finished the Christmas shopping except for a few treats and a couple of presents for special friends.

We're actually doing ok now that I'm sending hubby to work every hour that God sends. In the end we cancelled Christmas lunch out, I think we're just wanting to stay in our jammies on Christmas day and we've decided to have a lovely Lamb dinner on Christmas eve and then Smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels for breakfast on Christmas morning, after that I'll put on a buffet which will stay out for the day and everyone can just help themselves as they please, ths of course also means that if the children want to have choccy fest all day then they can, one tradition we have in our house is that the only day when you're allowed to eat whatever you want all day is Christmas day!

I'm totally looking forward to all the festivities and next week it's both the kids christmas nativities and carol-singing, parties and the usual fun. My only regret is that working from home I don't get to have a Christmas night out with my lovely boss, no real excuse to get dressed up at any point over the festive period but i'm thinking to hell with it, I probably will anyway, hopefully hubby will whisk me off for a romantic night out and meal at some point. Go on over and tell him, I'm hinting won't you!!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

What do you think of my festive template?

What a flippin nightmare it was installing this one I can tell you, I had to shave loads of rubbish off just to get the main stuffs to fit in! I'm quite loving it though and thanks to my friends at Template Panic for providing it.

My first Party

Well not mine but Loobys, her first ever party invite arrived yesterday for the little boy who lives accross the road. There had been much excitement in the Charlton household as we anticipated her first ever formal invitation, party clothes were worn and special red sparkly shoes were the order of the day. Abigail also went and they both had a fabulous time, they came home with party bags full, Looby won a prize and my neighbour commented that she had never seen two little girls dance so much!

I think they had fun, they both had their faces painted and now they're rather quietly cuddling daddy and watching the Polar Express on sky movies. talking of their daddy, do you know he's disowned me

and removed the links to me from his blog and why you might ask, well basically he was drunk and blogging and I told him not to sully my good name and Paul being Paul he has to do everything to total extreme. Yes i know what you're thinking dear reader and yes you would be right, in the Charlton household the winter nights do indeed fly by!! Now go over to his blog and tell him to put me back on his blogroll poste haste or I'll mess with the settings on the brand new mobile phone I just bought him for Christmas and you know what he's such a technophobe he wouldn't have a clue what to do, it's to be noted dear reader that I had to set it up for him!! It has a 1.3mp camera so once the USB lead arrives expect many photos from the life of Paul!!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Obligatory Santa Hat Photo!

Well it's not as easy as you would think, I was only allowed to take 10 photos of my 3 year old and only the condition that she got 3 lollipops for doing so. To be honest none of them really came out as well as I would have liked as she really wasn't in a co-operative mood, this was probably the best one, what do you think? Still not really good enough to pop in Christmas cards!

I'm going to try Abigail and Iain when they come in from school and fingers crossed I get something or it's going to be another year without Christmas scrapping projects!!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Oh Balls!!!!

Well baubles actually but I have spent most of the morning shouting at my laptop, it's only a year old but it's so flippin damn slow. One of the Indian ladies I was talking too last week who had a degree in computing said I should get it reconfigured the thing is though I think that PCWorl d would charge a fortune whereas being a clever chick if someone cleverer than me wrote some instructions I could probably do it myself fo no cost. so far though i've done everything I can think of and it's still painfully slow. I'm doing a defrag at present but i'm doing one of those a week now and it's still not making a difference.

Gosh wasn't that the most boring post ever so i'm sharing some random bauble piccies which I took at the weekend, we have lots of special baubles, I collect them!lol but the ones i love most of all are the plain baubles and the way that the Christmas lights reflect off them to sort of give a Christmassy hazy glow.

Oh and I must add that we have an Owl at the top of the tree, it wasn't intended that way but for some reason wecouldn't find a fairy or a star anywhere and we're really not sure where it's gone so the Owl is there just until we can find a suitable replacement. Dear reader I'm off now to try and calm down, maybe I'll sit next to the tree and breathe in that piny goodness, whatever I do though can someone send me a man to speed up my patop because if they don't it might just end up smashed into a kazillion pieces Mwahahahaha

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Deck the Halls!

Yesterday was deck the halls day and we did indeed do just that! For the first time ever we bought a real Christmas tree, we paid £35 ($70) inc the stand for our 6ft lovely, now i know thats not the cheapest tree in the world but when I saw this tree I knew it was the exact one I wanted. I've always wanted a real tree and I finally got my wish! We do have a fibre optic white twiggy tree downstairs and I'll have to take a photo of that one another day. I have to say that in the Charlton household today dear reader it's most definitely beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
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