{Balanced} 8 ways I’ve taken time out for myself this week


I wrote about being more ‘Balanced’ right back at the start of the year; how I was going to make more time for me.  Not Robb.  Not Alf.  Not Paul.  Not even poor Rolly.  Just me.  Everyday, I take time out {varying between ten minutes to a couple of hours}, where I will do something just for me.  This week I have;

:: Watched The Hangover, that film never fails to make me laugh.  Also a good way of sorting Monday’s out.

:: I went running in the rain.  Twice.  Exercise, Therapy and A Shower…all at the same time *

:: Caught up with my favourite blogs with a glass of wine one evening.  my name is yeh is a new favourite as well as rock my style.

:: I sat outside {in other words, alone so that the bois couldn’t see what I was eating before tea!…} and ate a very retro milkshake ice lolly.  And bloody enjoyed it.

:: Gave Headspace another go…determined to get to Session 10.

:: Pressed snooze for half an hour instead of getting up early to do the ironing {what was I thinking?!  Who gets up early to do that shit stuff?! } Let’s be honest, ironing or sleeping?…it’s a no-brainer.

:: Caught up with my sister over a few glasses of red wine.  Our only way of catching up ;)

:: Had lunch out…we don’t have an answer machine in the office for nothing you know.

BONUS!  Just got home to an E M P T Y house!  Best get that book out before they come hurtling in through that front door! 

*{Sure helped too.  Did you know Sure has created the world’s first antiperspirant containing breakthrough Motionsense™ technology that is activated directly by movement?!  Me neither, but they have and it seems to work!} 

(Serious face : I was sent some Sure samples to try out.  All words and thoughts are my own…and my sweet smelling armpits ;) 

{captured}  Pembrokeshire…according to my iPhone 

Who needs a week in the South of France when it’s as nice as this in Wales?!*

And just like that our 2015 Summer Holiday is done.  And what a week it was.  We managed a dip in the sea, a couple of Castle visits, swimming, days out, a great walk along the Marloes coastline and one whole day of doing absolutely nothing but watching the Tour de France on the tv and doing the same jigsaw over and over.  When Alf finds something he loves doing, there’s no getting away from it.  Before he’d even finished it for the 4th time, he was looking at me with those big, blue eyes and that smile that helps him get away with a lot of things, saying “We’re doing it again once we’ve finished, ok Mam?”.

Here are a few more pics I got on my phone:


Blue Lagoon // St David’s Castle // Most evenings were this clear // Tenby Beach

“You can’t see our faces” I said.  “Not a bad thing” he said ;)  //  Tenby //  It’s.  So.  Flat.  // Perffaith

Robb just had to go and “sit” on that sofa // Fishguard harbour //  Sunset  //  Cardigan Church

We had a great walk, or “adventure” if you’re Alfie, along the Marloes coastline one afternoon. Followed by a quick dip of our toes in the sea and then finished off with a glass of wine sat outside with my ‘holiday read’, which is a corker of a book.

Lazy afternoons // My happy place, I’m sure of it  //  Lazy Evenings  //  The Big Wheel at Folly Farm

More Tenby beach  // Dale…miserable but still pretty  //  Alf’s face!  //  Tenby…again

Fishguard Harbour  //  Marloes  //  Dale…sshh!  Pretend this isn’t in here twice!  #bloggerfail  //  Blue Lagoon, Abereiddi Beach

A great week finished off by a Last Supper to finish off all of the Last Supper’s, cooked by the bois bach themselves; chicken goujons followed by a bowl of custard.  It’s the stuff of dreams people, and with these three of mine, it’s the best.

It seems like a long stint for the Bois now til they got back to school, so luckily for them {and us}, we’ve still got all Summer with more plans and more memories to make.


*Me, that’s who.  I’d still very much like a week in the South of France, Diolch yn fawr iawn ;)

{around here} Heledd Roberts Photography

I am yet to meet Heledd.  BUT I’m pretty sure I spotted her in a supermarket in Bala once and there was a moment at a junction where, thanks to her car sticker, I noticed it was her and continued to wave frantically at her until she waved back…thankfully, an email later, she said she recognised me too.  Phew!  Anyway, I’m determined to meet her one of these days!  Seriously, I think there’s only a few miles between us!  One day, Heledd, one day.

For now, I’ll just have to ‘like’ all of her gorgeous photos on Instagram and her Facebook page.  Who knows, there may even be a selfie of us both together on there soon! ha.

Anyway, Heledd’s photographs!  “Heledd is a wedding, portrait and lifestyle photography from Bala, North Wales”…you see, I told you we don’t live that far apart!  “Having lived in the Welsh rural countryside all her life, her photography focuses on the fusion of the figure with nature and landscapes.  Her wedding and portraits are candid and relaxed in style and she carefully chooses beautiful locations for shoots.”

Take it away, Heledd.

Tell me a bit about yourself

Hello! I’m Heledd Roberts, a 24 year old wedding, portrait and commercial photographer from Glanrafon, Nr Corwen. I love the great outdoors (hiking, cycling, running), a good glass of cider, and of course, photography.

Cat & Ade 1

…and now your business

My business was set up in September 2012, four months after I graduated from my degree in Creative Lens Media (a mix of photography and film) at Glyndwr University. I provide a relaxed and natural wedding, portrait and commercial photography service focusing on natural lighting and locations. My service also includes album and photo-book design, printing and framing.

Photobook 1

Seren 1

 What first got you into photography? 

I first got interested in photography at around 16-17 years of age when I was studying my A Levels at Yale College, Wrexham. My Film Studies A Level got me thinking about visual art and I wanted to know what made something visually pleasing and how I could create it.

Marged & Dom Engagement 1

Sam & Shawn 2

Dad has always has cameras around the house so I started experimenting with his DSLR he used when hiking. I loved the challenge of creating good photos from scratch with completely manual settings. At this point I was shooting landscapes and scenes on walks. Surfing the web one evening, I discovered Flickr, a photography sharing community and I started uploading my work, discovering other photographers and learning about photography in more depth. People from around the globe would comment on my photos and encourage me to keep at it. On Flickr, I admired fantastic portrait photographers and I became engrossed by the idea of creating a mood, feeling and atmosphere through expression, pose and colour. A few months later I bought a DSLR, a portrait lens, got a friend to bring a big bag of clothes to the edge of Bala Lake and did my first portrait shoot. From then on, my love for portrait photography grew and developed.

Llanuwchllyn 1

Huw Jones 1

 Elsa Wyn 1

And have you got your own studio etc.?  Where?

Working from a small corner at home just didn’t work for me. It was especially unhealthy for my business as I was constantly distracted and my efficiency at work faltered. I was approached by Mari Williams, the editor of local newspaper Y Cyfnod, who offered a shared office at a new development, Canolfan Henblas on the high street in Bala. It’s a lovely building and I agreed to move in! The office was up and running from September 2014 and I’m very happy here editing photographs, doing my administrative work and having consultations with clients. I don’t have a studio set up at the office as I’m exclusively an outdoor and on location photographer.

 Cynwyd 1

Cynwyd 2

Is there anything else, other than people, you like to photograph?

I’m a commercial photographer as well as a portrait photographer and I do enjoy taking photos of other subjects. I enjoy photographing jewellery, hand-made goods and building interiors. On a personal level, I love taking photos of landscapes while hiking and exploring. Sometimes I’ll take a self portrait when at interesting locations just for fun!

 Gwyn & Kathryn 1

You’ve got a way of making people look really relaxed in your photos, are they that relaxed really?

If they’re not relaxed, they have a really good way of hiding it! I make sure that my subjects are completely at ease before I get the camera out. I reassure and explain my method of working to each person before shooting. Trust is a huge part of feeling comfortable – subjects must trust me to give subtle direction for strong poses and trust that I am taking the best photos for them.

 Will & Eleri 3

Sian & Arwyn Engagement 1

have you got a favourite ‘event’ you like to photograph?

I love weddings. I love the whole day – the ceremony, the reception, the people, the decor, the locations. I especially love taking the couple away from the whole buzz and having time to relax, taking natural photos in a lovely location. Engagement shoots are also close to the top of the list of favourite events as again, it’s a chance to photograph a couple’s relationship in a completely relaxed manner in a beautiful setting.

 Sian & Arwyn 1

Llio & Gwion 1

Your locations always look stunning, is there a lot of research that goes into theses, as well as the people you are photographing?

Thank you! Over the years of scouting for locations and finding the right light in the right places, I’ve fine tuned my eye to know quickly where will work best. With weddings, my choices are quite limited, but it’s part of the fun to look for great locations on-site. Engagements on the other hand are a bit more varied and versatile, sometimes the couple choose a spot that’s special to them, or I’ll choose a location which I think will suit best or will compliment the type of people the couple are. I love the outdoors and being able to incorporate the wonderful landscapes we have in this country is just an essential part of my work.

 Sion & Ceri Engagement 2

Elen & Jamie 1

Anything bad happened during a shoot?  {Someone fell in the sea…?}…or is that just my terrible sense of humour?!

You’ve put me on the spot now! Nothing terrible has happened from what I recall…but I did recently photograph a wedding on a very windy day and made the silly decision to wear a dress…needless to say some of the guests got an eye full.

 Llanuwchllyn 2

Any Wedding Fair’s etc. we can see your work and get to meet you at?  Maybe I can finally come and meet you there!!! ha! 

Well exciting news regarding wedding fairs – I’m currently in the middle of designing a wedding fair stand for my photography. I’ve not booked any yet, but I will hopefully attend some in the Autumn and Winter.

For all us budding photographers out there, what’s the one tip you would give them?  

Experiment as much as possible. I wouldn’t have my signature style now if I hadn’t experimented and tried new things out. You will find your own style and voice by refining after trying new techniques and ideas. Also, don’t listen to any ‘rules of photography’ – they’re there to be broken and championed!

Cerrig 1

 and one for someone wanting to set up their own business, too?

 I think the most important thing is to be patient. Things just don’t kick off overnight, you must work hard. Failures and the thought of taking huge risks may put you off, you must keep on going. Having been in business for almost 3 years, it’s only this year I am happy with the number of bookings I have received. It was a long time coming but it feels like such an achievement even though I am still looking to the future and finding ways of improving. In business you never reach a point where you feel that you should stop building and planning for the future, there is always room for improvement.

Cat & Ade 2

Diolch yn fawr iawn, Heledd!

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{they said it would be easy} Those Nutella Brownies currently doing the rounds on Facebook  

I was craving something sweet when I got in tonight.  It was while I was scooping my third a spoonful of Nutella straight out of the jar, that I remembered about this recipe I had seen doing the rounds on Facebook.

Ladies & Gents, you need to try these.  As in, bake your own and eat them…and not come round here eating ours.  Ha!  I say that like there’s a lot left.  {there isn’t}

The recipe is ridiculously easy and the results are bloody tasty.

Fingers crossed I manage to keep one or two for elevenses tomorrow ;)

Oh nutella, we bloody love you in this house.

Being Mam

Robb July

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Because if there’s one thing we are good at at the Lowe Household, it’s big hair apparently!  Alfie will ask me to do his hair, spend a couple of minutes in front of the mirror checking it out and then let me know if it needs doing again or not.  Because I’ve got nothing else to do in the morning’s…

“Can you please take my comb out from inbetween your bum cheeks?!”…really, I did have to say that.  Ten points if you can guess who I said that to.  And no, it wasn’t Paul.

#nationalkissingday – click the link.

Waiting over an hour for a bus…because if there’s any bus Robb is going to be on, it’s the one which got diverted because of a traffic accident.

“Mam, I love you to the moon and back.  Then to Africa.  Then to Llandrillo and then to Tesco’s”.  Cute.


All the hot chocolate and slouchy socks dates Alf could squeeze in with being the only child for a couple of days.

Not forgetting all the “I’ve got a tummy ache” moments for exactly the same reason resulting in him sharing a bed with us.  I’ve got your number, Alf ;)

Wondering if Robb will text and then realising he hasn’t bothered taking his mobile with him.  I was ready to hear his voice, squeeze him and make him some pancakes after two days…but the stench from his trainers?  Not so much.

CANT O GWYNEBAU HAPUS!  One hundred happy faces in school = A certificate = Alf and a huge grin on his cheeky face.  Da iawn, bach xx