A playful Valentine to you!

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Let your love rain down

Hearts, candy, flowers, love. We love St Valentines Day! This year we decided to do it up with a modish flair. Set in the classic but quiet Gallerie Bortier, I even made a thorough search for sweet and fun props to add a little sparkle.

Special thanks to my stepmom Cindi for coming out and keeping me sane during a long away trip for the Bear. Without her this session would have been completely impossible!

Today do something playful and loving for yourself and those you hold dear for time passes too fast.

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These two
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Where it all began
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The sweetest girl in the whole world
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Gotcha
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Heartbreaker
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Imp
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Stroll
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Who wrote the book of love?

2016 – What a Year!

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Thoughtful

Sitting now and reflecting back on the year feels a little surreal. 2016 marked a time of love, adventure and busyness. The biggest event of all, the welcoming of our sweet Jasper. Impossible to think that at this time last year we did not know he existed and now here he is in all his cuddley babyness.

2016 marked a move to the suburbs. A truly grown up endeavour as we settled into a house with a proper garden so close and yet so far from our buzzing city life. Quieter, wholesome and an opening to new friends and routines.

2016 also marked the busiest time yet for Bear & Dragon. The first half of the year was absolutely packed with wonderful families. Friends, old and new alike, amazing events (Royals, Bluebells, Apple Blossoms) and lots of new ideas to come.

This morning I looked back through some photos from the year and was inspired all over again. Though I am savoring every moment of leave with my littlest man, I am excited to jump back in for 2017. Spring will find me dabbling and by fall, a new dedicated studio space. I am so excited!

Now a wish for you. May 2017 hold wonderful days for you. Dance, play and love. Say yes more and live everyday to its fullest!

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Big eyes
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Holy
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Adored
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Feel the music
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Delicate
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Awash
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Protected
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Quiet
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New plaything
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Bottoms up
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Swing
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Close

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

 

 

Royals Sneak Peak: a very special Bear & Dragon Adventure

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Royals

In a castle on a hill, from a time long ago. Princes and Princesses rule and dragons prowl. Here we are Royal and here we play. This morning the crew at Bear & Dragon Adventures took over Chateau de la Hulpe to capture this sneak peak of out first Adventure session open to the public. The official announcement coming this Monday. Enjoy!

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Light of my life
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Precious
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Delicate things
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View
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Thoughtful
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Glee
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Beware foul dragons
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Tip toes
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Golden
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Fun and games
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Elegant
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Blush
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Admire
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At rest
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The protector
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Gallant Boy
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Baubles
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Royal rascals
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All dolled up

In the Spirit of Things

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Christmas kisses

I know, I know. Christmas is already everywhere. Every shop is breaking out their holiday wares. Gold, red, green, sparkles. I want to love it but I can’t! Not until after Thanksgiving at least. 🙂

However, photography and family pictures is one aspect of Christmas that rightfully rides the early wave of holiday cheer. I love the physical nature of printing and sending Christmas cards. For us, Christmas prints are kind of an obvious go to. But this year I really went all out and made a book with the beautiful printer Artifact Uprising. Easy to use and really really lovely. I can’t wait to get my hands on our copies and even made one to keep at home. Just a tip!

I am doing some Christmas oriented sessions but no holiday mini session this year. Next year for sure. However, to complete our book we had to bring some wintery holiday cheer in during the height of fall colors. Not an easy task! Luckily I spotted a row of evergreens near La Hulpe and on a clear, cold and dewy morning we packed up our sparkly gear, mini Christmas tree and close friends bribed to take our family shots (thanks Sarah and Simone!) for a little leap forward in time.

Now to add a little heartfelt Christmas love to your day. I present my very favorite presents of all.

Light the way
Light the way
Looking back
Looking back
My favorite presents of all
My favorite presents of all
Soft and sweet
Soft and sweet
Love from us!
Love from us!
Naughty or nice?
Naughty or nice?
Trimmings
Trimmings
Christmas angel
Christmas angel
Drops of dew
Drops of dew
Onward we go
Onward we go
Center of attention
Center of attention
My boys
My boys
The best kind of kisses
The best kind of kisses
All together now
All together now

10 more days of beautiful

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Gentle – Remember when they just fit into the crook of your arm. I do

After a short (eh hem) hiatus, I am happy to bring you even more beautiful. A recap of days 11 – 20

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Did you feel that? – It is so much fun waiting for your first baby to arrive. The wonder at the very fact that soon you too will have a little baby to call your very own. This sweet couple embodies everything about that moment. Thrilled, overwhelmed, having fun and in love.
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My new favorite toy – This new big brother is a tiny bit into trains… Of course we had to include his new little sister in his favorite track. Here he gives her all the love he’s got until the train rounds the corner
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Face to face – Another simple is beautiful post. Beautiful morning, amazing color and the sweetest smile.
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Waiting – Now I share a beautiful mum to be from South Africa. Something about the softness of the light brings me back to those quiet moments of waiting and hoping for the days to speed by so you can meet your first baby
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Across the gap – With a seven year age gap, this big brother has saved up alot of hugs, kisses and advice for his little princess. He just could not stop touching and kissing her! The sweetest boy and the sweetest little sister around.
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Let’s play – This is the second time I got to work with these handsome brothers. Here featured in a winner takes all game of peekaboo
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When worlds collide – A very special morning session with these beautiful Japanese girls decked out from head to toe in kimonos. It is a tradition in Japan to photograph your children at a shrine to bless their growth. Lacking shrines in Brussels, they decide to capture the combination of cultures that forms their life
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It’s you – Sometimes its just you. You are beautiful.
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Flow – This photograph was taken towards the end of a really fun session in Parc Woluwe. It is actually based on another photo that the mother saw and loved. It took a bit of work on all sides to get the perfect shot of this lovely and wiggly one year old. Ta da!