The light in the forest: An autumn love letter

 

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Feast

Its official. I am FREAKING OUT about this amazing fall light and colors. It is a gift to be home with our latest addition but part of me is already missing working with all my favorite families for gorgeous fall sessions. For sure my lovely little ones will soon tire of momma grabbing the camera and tracking them through the forest like mini photographic prey. I can’t help it!

Please get yourself out there for a autumn walk. The colors couldn’t be more beautiful. The air is crisp and the light soft and misty. Fabulous, fabulous fall.

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Rainbow
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Mushroom kingdom
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Road less travelled
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Glow
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Dance, dance
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Magic
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Glory, glory
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Reflection
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So he grows
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Pure heart
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Silly face
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These fall days

A look back: Apple Blossoms part deux

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Swing time

Its dark. Its cold. Its undoubtedly headed towards winter. You know what you need? A breathe of spring air. 🙂 And there is nothing more springy than playing in the hidden haven of apple blossoms in Sint Truiden.

Spring came late this year and a blossom checking trip the week before the scheduled sessions revealed tight buds and almost no flowers. Oh dear! Luckily everyone was able to make the switch to a later date and when the day dawned, it was more than glorious. Truly one of the most spectacular bright spring days you could imagine. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping and the blossoms peeking. We had a full day with nine families joining in on the fun.

After the session, I received the sweetest note from one of the families. It literally brought a tear to my eye.

Dear Nicole,

We  had a wonderful time amongst the apple blossoms today. Hayden said his favourite part was not being scared when I snuck up and surprised him. Your session today encouraged us to go out and explore a new region of Belgium, and spend the day together as a family. 
Normally my son is very shy and hates having his photo taken. Your playful approach really drew him out and encouraged him to express himself. 
Thank-you for such a fun and memorable day.
-Aww shucks, there I go again. :’)

Just taking a peek back through these images put a spring in my step. I hope it does the same for you. 🙂

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Cherry blossom
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Sprout 🙂
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Adventure awaits
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On the go
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Three of a kind
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Catch!
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Hmmm
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Reach
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The most beautiful girls
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Make a wish
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Peek
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Hang time
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Cousin love
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Grandpa and the girls!
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Reflection
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Frame
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A spring breeze

Welcome to the world sweet baby Jasper

 

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Sweetest Jasper

Dear sweet boy, how you have completed us. We are so glad to revel in this feeling of fullness, a complete circle. Welcoming you to the world has been one of the toughest but also best times for us all. You are so loved and we are proud to share some of that love today. ❤

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There he lays
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The bond
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A quiet moment
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Soft
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Survival strategy
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Trio
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Amazing grace
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Brothers
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The big kids
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Us three
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All these feet

Dawn rides a golden horse

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Dawn rides a golden horse

One thing we really love about moving out to the banlieue is being close to nature! Just on our 15 minute drive to school we pass eight horses and everyone has a favorite! For bababoo, it’s this lovely palomino. Today the combination of a gentle mist, golden light and golden pony were just too much for me. I raced home to grab my camera and to hope that this perfect moment stretched on and on.

During this little baby break, it is so nice to rediscovered my general love of beautiful scenes and light and to let my eye go wander where it may. I wish these images bring you peace and fill you with the warmth of the season. Amen.

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Descend
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Surrounded by light
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Gazer
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Sense
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Angles
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A bid adieu

A look back and a look forward: Royals!

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Beauty

You might say this year has been a little crazy. The making of B3 seriously sapped my energy and between babybuilding, kid raising, fun having and sleep missing my dear blog was put on hold. No longer! With the arrival of little Jasper (photo debut coming soon) and start of maternity leave, I am excited to revive this forum with more storytelling, photo sharing and adventure seeking.

To kick us off, I take you all the way back to February for our very first Bear and Dragon adventure, Royals! Set in the glamorous Chateau at Domaine de la Hulpe, Royals was a day filled with lovely princes and princesses. We dressed up, danced and played. There was fun, adventure and even romance. All the makings of a great adventure.

Enjoy!

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Tea party for three
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Some for you and some for me!
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A prince in waiting
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The Guardian
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Royal applause
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Dreamy
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Wonder
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Past times
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Stepping out
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A little romance
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Elegance
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Fairytale
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Adore
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Bejeweled
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I hope you dance
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Royalty

Ch-ch-ch-changes :)

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Full of it

Wow, what a year! Seems like a strange thing to say in August but the time until now has really flew by and now as we near the time to welcome our new baby boy, a sense of completion…and growth have settled in.

As the title implies, this new “project” has led to some ch-ch-ch-changes as we moved out to the ‘burbs into a sweet little house and I am just starting maternity leave now. Really I am much to big and lumbering to do my usual jumping up and down, running through parks and playing during photo sessions! It breaks my heart a little bit to miss my favorite photo time (fall) but I am determined to give this new little guy all I have got to make a great start in life.

So what’s next for Bear & Dragon? In the new year I will open a new studio space in a beautiful and convenient location in Brussels. I expect to be back in the early months of 2017 and can’t wait to see all my families, old friends and new for many new adventures.

In the meantime, stay tuned on the blog for some cool Brussels kids locations and to-do’s and a slice of life from bucolic Beersel.

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We are waiting for you

First look: First days at home

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Something new

When this family first contacted me, they wanted something special. Being a photographer herself, Christina had the newborn basics covered, but of course often found herself on the business end of the camera instead of in front. Sound familiar? After some discussion, we decided to have a relaxed at home session which documented the experience of meeting and bringing home her second son. Nothing posed or using props, just life as it is.

Only five days after birth, on a bright June afternoon, we had a chance to capture some of these special moment of being home, now as a family of four. I so enjoyed being a part of this beautiful relaxed family. I hope you do to!

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Big brother
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Curly toes
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Comfort
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Storyteller
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Rest
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Mirror me
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Mosaic
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Closer
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Little lashes
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At home
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Mother’s helper
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Some quiet time
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Perfect
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US
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Happy days

 

A look back – Sea of Leaves 2015

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Sea storm

Its getting all springy and just in time, I am just barely hanging in there. Sun please!! But before we spring forward, I want to fall back (har, har) one last time with a quick revisit to the Sea of Leaves mini session. This was our second go around and once again. got super lucky with the weather, the deep fall leaves, and the beautiful families. And especially lucky as just a few days later, the magical Brussels leave vacuum visited the park and spirited all of our lovely friends away. Brussels efficiency strikes again. 🙂

Without further adieu, I present Sea of Leaves 2015

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Row your boat
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Little secrets
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Little kisses
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Fall revery
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Pile on!
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Heart and soul
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On wings of gold
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Wonder
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Three of a kind
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Discovery

Things to do with a child in Brussels: Make believe at Legenturia

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The Legend Begins

If you find yourself making an IKEA or Orchestra run out to Zaventem then maybe you have already seen the curious new building with a rather large dragon perched on top. Brand new to the Brussels play and birthday circuit, Legenturia is packed from top to bottom with really cool soft play everything and a sure fire hit for the 3+ set.

One rainy Sunday, lacking plans and decent enough weather for an outing, we decided to drop in and check it out. Arriving just as they opened, we were treated to nearly an hour of the full run of the place. Logically priced at free for under 3, 9,5 EUR for 3 – 18 years and 3 EUR for adults, you receive a wrist band when you enter which gives you access to all the areas of play. The ground floor is dominated by bowling and a maze of super cool bouncy castles. Five in total, if I remember correctly, this was really a highlight for us. The kids bounced, ran, climbed and bombed down the air slides until the rowdier older set got in on the action. Still a good run but at 2 and 4 years old, they could not quite compete.

No problem because there was much more to explore. Upstairs we went to the Zone of Ideas and lots more fun. A small snack bar, paddle boating, gold sifting (you can make a gold coin!) and then another highlight, the imagination rooms. Including but not limited to a bakery, jail, veterinarian hospital, nursery, post office, these rooms really set you up for some serious make believe.  My little ones spend tons of time here, especially taking care of the many “injured” stuffed animals in the vet hospital. Multiple injections, medicine overdoses and yards of bandages later, all were saved. 🙂

Upstairs is also the area where birthday parties are held. Loads of tables close to the imagination rooms set with juice and balloons projected a busy day ahead for the Legenduria staff. Not cheap at 112 EUR + 9,50 per person but it sure does save a mess at home.

Last thing to note is the baby area. Fairly good sized, bright and somewhat surreal due to the music and very slowly moving and padded play machines this would not top my list unless you have an adventurous older sibling and need to bring baby along for the ride.

Please note we did not check out the stag and hen party options including lasershooting, bowling, zorb ball and LED bowling. Par-tay!

So overall, a great option for a fun destination with your three year old and up. Probably most fun for 4 – 8 year olds. Awesome that it is open on Sundays and a safe bet for party fun if you don’t mind the cost. Arrive early to make the most of the space and don’t forget to make believe.

 

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King of the (bouncy) castle
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Whee!
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Full of idees
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Really soft play – baby area
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Par-tay time
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Use your imagination