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MINI FOCUS: Gigi August, Auckland

GIGI AUGUST - a fun shoot with my dear wee friend in her Auckland home. New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Junior's

Introducing Gigi. She is one of my mini soulmates and last year I spent 3 days a week kicking around with her, hitting up the zoo, making up enormous stories, crazy dancing in the hallway, eyeing up our favourite boats in the viaduct and riding the bus like pro’s.

Inspired by Peta Mazey’s awesome and easy to read “How to take great shots of your Kids“, I headed over to Gigi’s and we spent an afternoon playing dress ups and being awesome.

I’d love your feedback! Is this a type of post you might like to see more of? Kids from down under in their home/neighbourhood environments just being their attitude packed little selves?

Scroll down to check out Gigi’s fun and learn a little more about her.

GIGI AUGUST - a fun shoot with my dear wee friend in her Auckland home. New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Junior'sGIGI AUGUST - a fun shoot with my dear wee friend in her Auckland home. New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Junior'sGIGI AUGUST - a fun shoot with my dear wee friend in her Auckland home. New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Junior'sGIGI AUGUST - a fun shoot with my dear wee friend in her Auckland home. New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Junior'sGIGI AUGUST - a fun shoot with my dear wee friend in her Auckland home. New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Junior'sGIGI AUGUST - a fun shoot with my dear wee friend in her Auckland home. New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Junior'sGIGI AUGUST - a fun shoot with my dear wee friend in her Auckland home. New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Junior'sGIGI AUGUST - a fun shoot with my dear wee friend in her Auckland home. New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Junior'sGIGI AUGUST - a fun shoot with my dear wee friend in her Auckland home. New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Junior'sGIGI AUGUST - a fun shoot with my dear wee friend in her Auckland home. New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Junior'sGIGI AUGUST - a fun shoot with my dear wee friend in her Auckland home. New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Junior'sGIGI AUGUST - a fun shoot with my dear wee friend in her Auckland home. New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Junior'sGIGI AUGUST - a fun shoot with my dear wee friend in her Auckland home. New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Junior'sGIGI AUGUST - a fun shoot with my dear wee friend in her Auckland home. New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Junior'sGIGI AUGUST - a fun shoot with my dear wee friend in her Auckland home. New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Junior'sGIGI AUGUST - a fun shoot with my dear wee friend in her Auckland home. New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Junior'sGIGI AUGUST - a fun shoot with my dear wee friend in her Auckland home. New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Junior'sGIGI AUGUST - a fun shoot with my dear wee friend in her Auckland home. New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Junior'sGIGI AUGUST - a fun shoot with my dear wee friend in her Auckland home. New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Junior'sGIGI AUGUST - a fun shoot with my dear wee friend in her Auckland home. New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Junior'sGIGI AUGUST - a fun shoot with my dear wee friend in her Auckland home. New Zealand. / Photography by Julia Atkinson for Junior's
That’s us – rock’n’roll!
All photography by Julia Atkinson for Junior’s
……

MY NAME IS: Gigi August Fromont

I LIVE IN: Grey Lynn, Auckland

MY MUM AND DAD ARE: Claire Hammon and Greg Fromont of Meadowlark. Claire also has a terrific kids blog called Mama Likes This!

I AM: 3 years old

MY FAVOURITE THINGS TO DO ARE:  Swimming, dancing, singing, painting, baking & playing.

MY FAVOURITE OUTFIT AT THE MOMENT IS: Just as many things as I can get out of my drawers, worn all at the same time. My moto is clash clash clash, but I’m not that interested in clothes.

MY FAVOURITE PLACE TO VISIT IS: The Zoo and granny’s house!

I LOVE IT WHEN MUM AND DAD:  Buy me feijoa nice blocks! And when they let me sleep in their bed (with my head, head butting my dad and my feet kicking mums ribs!!)

Thanks wee G. xoxoxoxo

FOCUS: Natural options for boosting immunity! By Katherine Lonsdale – Cooper

Katherine Lonsdale - Cooper of The Tonic Room - shot by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

Katherine Lonsdale – Cooper of The Tonic Room
Photograph : Julia Atkinson for Studio Home
……

Katherine Lonsdale – Cooper is the fantastic young Naturopath behind new natural health and wellness location The Tonic Room. In line with her launch of both a bricks’n’mortar store and extensive online apothecary, she is determind to drag natural health into the mainstream and part of this is demystifying and presenting information to those of us interested in a way that we can actually understand!

SO – it’s with great pleasure that we welcome Kat onboard as a regular contributor and I hope you find some seeds of information in here that are handy!

Katherine Lonsdale - Cooper of The Tonic Room - shot by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

With the cooler months quickly approaching, we have seen an increasing numbers of diligent parents in store asking for ways to naturally support their children’s immune system.  I love this! As I often explain to people, prevention is key when it comes to fighting colds and flus.

In the simplest of terms, your immune system is an intricately balanced network of cells and organs that work together to defend you against illness.  The immune system requires specific nutrients for its optimal function. When I think of immune support, I think Echinacea, Zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin A and Probiotics. This herb and nutrient combo are for me, the five simple immune essentials.

Native to North America, Echinacea is part of the daisy family.

Well researched and extensively used, Echinacea strengthens the body’s resistance to illness through its action on the immune system. Part of the charm of quality Echinacea is the tingling effect it leaves in the mouth. My favourite Echinacea product is Kiwiherb’s Children’s Echinature, in a convenient and great tasting liquid form that is free from all synthetic ingredients and possible allergens such as dairy, gluten, sugar and yeast.

Vitamin C

An important antioxidant, works directly on the cells of the immune system. It also plays a really important role in recovery from infection. Vitamin C is found in oranges, strawberries, kiwifruit, papaya, capsicums, broccoli, brussels sprouts and cauliflower.

Zinc

Being one of the most widely used minerals in the body is essential to stimulate immune function and fight infection. A zinc deficiency is often what results in colds and flus. Zinc is found in red meats, legumes, chicken, fish, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and quinoa.

Immune cells need Vitamin A

… but it is also required to create healthy mucous membranes that line the digestive tract. A healthy digestive tract is our first line of immune defense as it stops bugs entering the body in the first place. Vitamin A can be found in dairy products, egg yolks and fish liver oils (we like a good quality Cod Liver Oil). Provitamin A carotenoids (things the body can naturally turn into Vitamin A) are found in dark green leafy vegetables, yellow vegetables and in yellow and orange non-citrus fruits.

Probiotics

Superstars in immune health and overall health in general. Probiotics provide beneficial bacteria that can help restore the balance of good and bad bacteria within your children’s digestive tract. In doing this it not only aids immunity but it also helps your children’s digestion. This means they will be absorbing the nutrients from their diet that are so essential for their wellness.  Probiotics are naturally found in natural and organic yoghurt, sauerkraut, tempeh, miso, kefir and kombucha.

 

In addition to supplementation, diet and lifestyle play a key role in support for our little ones. Other than the foods already mentioned, a few simple tips include:

– Increasing overall fresh fruit and vegetable intake.

– Use high quality proteins from organics meats, eggs, fish, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.

– Use foods high in essential fatty acids such as oily fish, coconut oil, flax seed oils, nuts and seeds.

– Avoid processed, refined foods loaded with colours and preservatives.

– Avoiding sugar is essential. Refined sugars found in chocolates, cakes, sweets and processed foods directly affects the ability of the immune system. Opt for fresh and stewed fruits (stewed apple is great), dried fruits (organic when possible), stevia and active manuka honey.

– Introduce lots of hearty and nutrient dense homemade soups and bone broths. Bone broths are incredibly nutritive for the immune system and high in minerals.

– Aim for your kids to have 8 – 10 hours of sleep every night and think green and less screen. Playtime outside, away from the television promotes overall wellness for children and also exposes them to immune essential Vitamin D from the sun.

If you want some advice on what supplements to choose, come and visit the shop and we can give you some over the counter help on choosing the right products for your children.

Tonic Room

Note: of course you should practice caution with all aspects of your childs health and its important that you consult an expert if your child is unwell. This article is friendly advice and tips from a trained Naturopath but you should implement responsibly.

FOCUS: How to take great shots of your kids – by Peta Mazey

Photography by Peta Mazey - http://www.petamazey.com/

photographer Peta Mazey

Wellington based Peta Mazey is what I would refer to as a “child whisperer”. I’ve followed her beautiful photography work for years and have spent many a procrastinating hour scrolling through her creative, fun shots of kids. She has this knack (skill!) at capturing children in natural, candid moments which just scream their little personalities.

So when thinking about who I might haul on board to present the very first of my planned weekly, FOCUS posts – I thought some tips for taking pics of your own kids might be handy and no one knows how to do this better than Peta!

First things first – Peta believes the best camera is the one you have on you … she happily and readily uses her camera phone for many of her photos! So relax! This is not a post to sell you a DSLR!

“LOW LOW LOW LOW (OR HIGH)”

The floor is where it’s at in kidworld. Get on their level and your photos will be awesome. You might get mucky but it will be worth it. My only exception to this rule is when you want to show their tiny-ness, in which case birds-eye-view rules. Stand right up over them and use a wide angle, just be sure to exercise caution.

photographer Peta Mazey
photographer Peta Mazey

“STRAIGHT LINES ARE COOL”

Every time a horizon line is wonky a fairy loses her wings. Or something. Once you start being vigilant about straight horizons it will become second nature. If you’re at an angle to a scene that doesn’t have a horizon line, then make sure your vertical lines are nice and straight

photographer Peta Mazey
photographer Peta Mazey

“GO WITH THE FLOW”

It’s so tempting to attempt to recreate an amazing photo or set up you have seen somewhere, but usually kids have a different idea about that. Down the line those aren’t the photos that will make you the happiest anyway. The photos that make me smile are the ones where everything was real – Sally was wearing mismatching socks and Billy was covered in dirt, but their smiles were real because they really were having fun!

photographer Peta Mazeyphotographer Peta Mazey

“GOOD LIGHT IS GOOD, BAD LIGHT IS BAD “

It’s easy to think ‘good light’ means ‘lots of light’ but actually, full sun is the worst kind of light to shoot in, it’s really harsh and casts lots of weird shadows on the face. If you want to learn about what light is cool do some googling on ‘open shade’, backlighting and ‘the golden hour’. Also, turn off your flash when you can, keep those hands steady though!

photographer Peta Mazey photographer Peta Mazey

“DON’T DISAPPEAR (OR DO!)”

When you want a nice portrait of your little cutie make sure to stay in the moment. The camera is only up to my eye about 10% of the time when I am photographing – maintain eye contact with your wee one and be fun, laugh and joke and talk and tickle, then duck behind the camera to get the shot when they are being cute. Peekaboo often works a treat with the baby set. If you have snuck up on a cute moment then by all means stealthily hide behind your camera, like a ninja.

photographer Peta Mazey
photographer Peta Mazey

“DON’T BE ANNOYING “

Sometimes you just don’t feel like having your picture taken right? If your kid is getting fed up with having the camera in their face just say “that’s cool” and put it down for a bit. You’ll have plenty of other chances to get great photos of them!

photographer Peta Mazey
photographer Peta Mazey

“PRINT YOUR SNAPS”

Kids love tangible evidence of all that snapping you do. It’s so easy just to leave your photos sitting in folders on the computer, but next time you are at a department store picking up socks and lightbulbs print out some cheap 4×6’s while you’re at it. I printed a bunch of my faves to cover my 1980s monstrosity of a fridge. What I didn’t expect was the kids in my life to be so proud of their place/s on it. I noticed the ones that had grown a bit camera-fatigued became way more into having their photo taken after seeing that.

photographer Peta Mazey

Peta Mazey photography