First look: the most delicate cake smoosh of all

The birthday princess
The birthday princess

Somehow there is a little extra razzle dazzle in the air. Its Friday and its almost spring. Hooray! In the celebrating mood, today I am going to share a very special birthday session with one year old Liv. Arriving dressed to impress, we had one important mission. Capture some special birthday pictures and then proceed to smoosh the sweetest little birthday cake you have ever seen. While complying with the first part, Liv proved very lady like in her cake eating. After some encouragement she dug in. Go Liv!

So in the spirit and in celebration of little Liv, this weekend have your cake and then eat it too. Yum. ūüôā

Momma Love
Momma Love
Wishes
Wishes
Ready to roll
Ready to roll
Throne
Throne
Have your cake :)
Have your cake ūüôā
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Things to do with a toddler or child in Brussels: Harvest at Marie’s Garden

Marie's Garden-8
Sprouts – obviously

If you have been following along with this blog, you might have noted my almost unhealthy preoccupation with the changing of seasons. Apart from the transitions of light quality, I would say the thing I look forward to the most is the coming and going of favorite seasonal fruits and veggies. After many a nudge, I¬†finally¬†managed to get myself and the littles out to Marie’s Garden in Overijse to get our hands dirty and take part in the bountiful harvest of fall.

A beautiful day and such a wonderful time wandering the 10 hectares of land. We discovered so many of our favorites. Butternut squash, late summer raspberries, rhubarb, leeks, gigantic sunflowers and of course PUMPKINS! When you arrive, you get a simple set of instructions: harvest where you see a sign, no eating in the fields (oops!) and off you go with your wheel barrow, bags and scissors.

In addition to having a great time in the fields, I was truly in awe of the beauty of the surroundings. So inspired that I am now in the process of confirming (fingers crossed)¬†Marie’s Garden as a very special¬†photo session location. It will likely be an upcoming Sunday this October. Drop me a note if you would like to take part.

Either way, either by bus or car, find your way to this slice of heaven and partake in the many splendors of fall.

Where: Marie’s Garden:¬†Valkenweg 116,¬†3090 Overijse,¬†Belgium (just 10 minutes outside of Brussels)

When:

– Mon : closed
–¬†Tue : 13.30¬†– 17.00
–¬†Wed : 13.30 – 17.00
–¬†Thu : 13.30 – 17.00
–¬†Fri : 13.30 – 17.00
– Sat : 10.30 – 17.00
– Sun : 10.30 – 16.00

Pumpkin girl
Pumpkin girl
Hard work
Hard work
Belgian gothic
Belgian gothic
A touch of home in the golden poppies
A touch of home in the golden poppies
Make a wish
Make a wish
Jewel
Jewel
Sunshine
Sunshine
My two

My two
A day's harvest
A day’s harvest

First look: Falling in love with fall family sessions

Fall in love
Fall in love

There are many reasons why I love my job but¬†right now the top one is the sheer amount of time I am spending in luscious Brussels parks photographing beautiful families. To get very photography nerdish on you, the best thing of all is the light. Low, even and golden, it literally makes everyone glow. No wonder that this fall is shaping up to be one of my busiest ever. To top things off, due to the shortening of days, the so called “golden hour” is currently in reach even for our little people with the best light between 9:30 – 11 and 4 – 6pm. Hooray!

Today I share a very fun session set in one of my favorite parks, Parc du Cinquantenaire. At almost two, Leni-Marie was full of happy energy and played and laughed and let me chase her around with a camera for a good 90 minutes. A really wonderful time with a really wonderful family. Please enjoy.

Swing
Swing
Pappa to the rescue
Pappa to the rescue
In momma's shoes
In momma’s shoes
Flower girl
Flower girl
All together now
All together now

Ciao bella

Andiamo
Andiamo

Ahh vacation, you are sweet indeed. Just home now from our travels across Europe and down to Lake Como for two weeks of living la vida loco, oops, I mean la dolce vita. Our first road trip with the kids! They were troopers and after a stopover around Strasbourg, we hopped, skipped and jumped over the alps to the noble and stunning Como area. Just one hour North of Milan, Como is an incredible mesh of Swiss and Italian culture. Where the wealthy Milanese families escaped the heat, Como is now an eclectic mix of families, Russian mobsters (parlez-vous russain?) and elegant Italian matriarchs.

We stayed as always at a little house in Carate Urio found via our favorite site, airbnb. Though it rained much more than expected, we had a wonderful time eating lots of gelato, dipping into the cold lake and checking out the many small villages.

Now happy to be home in Brussels and buckled down for a busy fall. To reminisce, here are a few snaps to share. Enjoy!

Lago
Lago
Life on Via Clerici
Life on Via Clerici
Momma attack!
Momma attack!
Beauty
Beauty
The air out there
The air out there
My matched set
My matched set
Hang time
Hang time
Timeless
Timeless
Holy Light
Holy light

Super Dad

The protector
The protector

This morning I turned the page on my calendar and there it was, a mere 15 days away, Father’s Day! Why are dads SO difficult to shop for? On our possibilities list are a tie, a nice scotch, shaving kits, this amazing drawing replicator…you know, man things. I am not sure where we will land but while I have pappa on the brain, I would like to present some of the handsome and sweet pappas that have graced the halls of Bear & Dragon Studio. Cheers to all the pappas!

Admire
Admire
In good hands
In good hands
At play
At play

First look: Vanessa’s almost newborn session

Curve
Curve

I think it is clear by now that I really like babies, no? In many a newborn session, I get to roll them into cuddly little balls and put them in sweet baskets, blankets, momma or pappa’s arms. In the first 10 days, it is truly amazing what a baby will very happy do and sleep through as we work to get that perfect picture for an birth announcement or official debut to the world.

Lately I have been noticing an interesting trend of waiting until the 8 – 10 week mark when the little ones are a little more expressive and aware of the world. A chance to capture a slice of their growing personalities. Such was the case with little Vanessa who I first met during a planning session in the studio and then just one week later, in her idyllic home outside of Wavre. It was so lovely to capture this beautiful family in their home setting and to have nearly three hours with little Vanessa and her cheeks. Those cheeks!

Here to share with you today some of the highlights. Enjoy!

Where we belong
Where we belong
These cheeks!
These cheeks!
Hanging out
Hanging out
Family
Family
Image
The butterfly
Protector
Protector

Things to do with a toddler or kid in Brussels: Choo Choo on the steam engine at Parc du Bempt

All aboard!
All aboard!

Holy blazes, spring is back on! One of our favorite things about Brussels is how many fun things are going on all the time. There are always a number of festivals, kid events, races, etc. This weekend we hit the Festival du Pain (bread) in the Schuman roundabout. It was delicious!

Now we turn to a summer activity that is more of a perennial than a flash in the pan. Thanks to the tip from Brussels Life, we decided to check out the little steam engines in Parc du Bempt. It is a bit of a long haul to Forest but fairly convenient if you take Tram 82 almost straight there. It is just past the Abbaye de Forest, which is also worth a visit. Parc du Bempt is a lovely green space with some ponds, area to play and some play structures but the real highlight is definitely the steam engines.

Three choo choos run along a super cute track for about a five minute ride. If your little one is obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine, this is for you, big time. Buy a ticket for 2 EUR and jump on. Tickets are technically for 3 year olds and up but Bababoo is on the tall side and her parents have a flexible sense of truth so away we went.

Zoe had a blast and we took the¬†edge off with some ice cream from the garage. Beer and wine also on offer if you are so inclined. ūüôā

Hope you check it out!

Where:  Parc du Bempt. If you need a GPS try Chaussée de Neerstalle 323B, 1190 Forest

When: Every weekend from 26 April to 5 October 2014 from 2pm until 6pm (only Sundays during July, August and September)

How much:¬†From 1‚ā¨

Ready to roll
Ready to roll
Sidelined...for now
Sidelined…for now
That was a blast!
Running!

In celebration of momma

At play
At play

Is it almost Mother’s Day in your country? In the US and many others, this Sunday is a day to celebrate the wonderfulness that is the momma or mommas in your life. Usually this means sleeping in, breakfast in bed, special cards or a present and maybe even something sweet.

One thing I hear from almost all my momma clients is “I am always behind the camera. There are almost no pictures of me and my kids!”. I hear you momma, it is the same here. What could be a better way to capture this moment than a photo session with your little ones. I know I am going to be putting the big camera in the hands of the Bear and hoping for the best. If you are a hint dropper, its not too late. Hope to see you in the studio, great outdoors or your home soon. For some inspiration, I present some sweet, hardworking ladies of the mom persuasion. ūüôā

Momma's  momma
Momma’s momma
From a safe place
From a safe place
The girls
The girls
Imagination
Imagination
The sweet moments
The sweet moments
Momma love
Momma love

This is Easter

This is Easter
This is Easter

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter. We did! After a long week alone with the kiddos while the Bear traveled, I was thrilled to have everyone back in place for a long weekend. We had a fun time splitting Swedish and American Easter traditions. For the Swedish side we had a Sandwich Cake and spent the afternoon at an IKEA. For the American side we colored eggs, baked a Banana Cream Pie and ate too much. No dressing up here. Most time was spent in pajamas. Babatwo took his first bites (pumpkin). You get the idea.

This is Easter. Last week while driving (driving!) along, I heard from the back seat, “This is Momma. This is babatwo. This is Bababoo”. What?! Bababoo’s first sentences. While she has lots of nouns and verbs, it was somehow so striking to hear a full sentence. So in honor of that sentiment, this is Easter. Enjoy.

My garden
My garden
First bites
First bites
OK, as long as he doesn't eat MY food
OK, as long as he doesn’t eat MY food
Pie in process
Pie in process
Chocolate lover #1
Chocolate lover #1
Cooking assistant #1
Cooking assistant #1
Ahh sweet bed
Ahh sweet bed
The Bear family
The Bear family