Freedom. It's a world I use alot these days because that's how New Zealand makes me feel, free.

We take a trip to the beach and there is rarely a soul to be seen. Coming from the city I catch myself thinking "where is everyone?", then I remember where I am.

But the freedom comes in so many different forms. Freedom to live without material things which I feel is rare in a city, freedom to live a slow pace of life because your surrounded by it. Mostly, the freedom to enjoy mother nature.

Being on the beach this day really brought it all home to me. I'm so grateful for having my children to be able to experience a life like this. As I have said many of times before the move has come with some hard times, but it's been all worth it.

This blog post was done as a part of a blog circle called 'Local Outings'. A bunch of togs sharing work from the heart. Check out the blog post of Mandy Jane Dalby, a family photographer based in the United Kingdom.

Off to the pool

I hate complaining about my kids but parenthood has felt a little hard lately. Shaun and I have been so snappy with the kids. Poor things, thank god they are forgiving little creatures and still love us just as much when we are proper arseholes of parents. That's the thing about kids, they really show you what loves all about.

It's been a four day weekend here in Hawkes Bay so we ventured to the local pool yesterday to fill the day. It's evident that our kids take after their father with their love for the water.

This blog post was done as a part of a blog circle called 'Local Outings'. A bunch of togs sharing work from the heart. Check out the blog post of my good friend Krystle Ricci, a family photographer based in Perth, Western Australia.



It’s an amazing journey but one I’m not sure you can ever prepare for.

Some can wait their whole life for that tiny weeny baby to placed into their arms. Finally when that time comes you’re handed this precious little bundle that’s all yours and it’s the most surreal feeling. It can be pretty scary too, coupled with the expectations of what motherhood is meant to be and that’s enough to topple any mother over her milk laden boobs.

But fear and sleep deprivation aside it’s such an incredible time. Sure it might not be quite what we all expect and for some it can be a really hard, but by god is it beautiful.

My days of newborns are over so walking into Nat and Joe’s house to meet little Archer was so special. I got to relive those memories. The smell of a new born, the chaos of house with a little person in it, the worry of a mother wanting their newborn to be comfortable and their needs met, just everything.  The absolute beauty of family going from two to three.

For as long as I live, it will never be the sleepless nights or chaos that I remember first, it will always be discovering the existence of a new type of love. The love of a mother.

Blog Circle - August Outing - Farm life

I think you can always tell a person that's experienced farm life. They have this sense of freedom about them, a love for the land and all its creatures.

We don't live on a farm but knowing the kids were going to experience farm life through friends and family played a huge part in our move to New Zealand. I remember my time on farms as a kid and honestly, it's never left me. 

This day was so cold it was unbearable. We were off to visit Shaun's cousin who lives on a farm that sits at what feels like the edge of the world. Because of the cold we set up camp in their wool shed and made a bike track around the wool bails. Sonny thought sliding down the sheep race was and I quote "the best".

Last stop before heading back home in gusty winds and -4 degrees was feeding the pigs and farm dogs.

Such a cool day, such cool memories.

This blog post was done as a part of a blog circle called 'Local Outings'. A bunch of togs sharing work from the heart. Check out Becky Auerbach latest post, a Lifestyle and Storytelling photographer based in Milwaukee.

Another journey for The Sun Makes the Ivy Grow

I didn't quite finish by 365, this is true. But this is only just the beginning.

My 365 project (a photo a day for a year) has uncovered a whole new way of taking family photos and I decided that documenting is a true passion, one that I want to share with other families.

So as you might have noticed this website has a new look. This will now be my home for all of my family and lifestyle photography. 

From this point on, you will not only continue to see the journey of Sonny and Ivy but I will share the journeys of many other families right here.

I'm so excited about this new direction and hope that other families will love what I do and ask me to document a day in their life.

I sincerely believe that I can create great memories for families. Photographs that take families right back to that particular time in their lives. Showing families that their ordinary was extraordinary. That photographs that are raw and honest, will be the ones families will cherish the most.

So here's to the next adventure. Here's to 'Documenting your REAL'.

A failure or a lesson?

Today marks our one year anniversary of arriving to live in New Zealand. I’m generally a shocka for remembering dates but this one sticks in mind because I feel proud of our achievement at starting a new life and because it was the day my 365 project was up.

I wish I could say I’m a little more jolly on this day but I’m so bloody annoyed with myself it’s not funny. I loved doing my project and although there were days I missed I never thought I'd failed. Then March came, wedding season was in full swing and I just didn’t have the energy nor time to keep it consistent. By mid March we had left for 2.5 weeks in Perth catching up with family and friends which was great but could also be described as a hurricane. And now, I’m so swamped with wedding edits I’m clicking buttons in my sleep.

So the point is, I didn’t reach my target and I’m disappointed to the point I can’t even bear to open up my file to finish editing. I know some might "oh whatever, you did most of it" (REALLY NOT FISHING FOR COMPLIMENTS EITHER) but in my mind I didn’t make it. But these things happen I guess.

So I’m sharing my lesson. When you start something, creative project or not, clear the deck. If it’s really something you want to put your heart on soul into, think about what you have time for. Think about what could sway you from your focus and above all, do less to complete more. I believe the art of completing something is so important and with the speed of life these days, I think this might be dying. Or maybe it really is just me! 

I know I’m not talking to huge audience here, no one probably gives a shit, but to the ones that did follow, a sorry for leaving you hanging.  I'd like to think I'm a woman of my word so when I don't do what I say, I have to say it out loud. 

Once I clear the deck I WILL finish my edits and I WILL post them, not for anyone else, just me.

Then happy to say that The Sun Makes the Ivy Grow will not end. I will continue to document my kids and it will also be the new home for my family and lifestyle photography. So stay tuned.

Until then, I'll stop beating myself up because that won't get my anywhere.


Sonny turned five today. We've had this beautiful kid in our lives for five years, I can hardly believe it's been that long. I still vividly remember the day I went into be induced and how after 8 hours of labour they wheeled me in for an emergency C section. After they drugged me up to the hilt (I wasn't in the best of forms) our 8 pound Sonny came to join us with all his amazingness. This kid makes me want to pull my hair out strand by strand sometimes but I freaking love him.


And just like that..... she puts the dummy in the envelope to send to the Dummy Fairy and off she goes to bed. What a little legend.


My dear mum arrived today and she wasted no time in playing with the Sonny and Ivy. She's the best.


I think I can speak on behalf of most parents and say that we would all love our children to be great friends, if not best friends. I know I love my brothers but our relationship isn't half as close as I would like it. I really hope that Sonny and Ivy are best friends. That they really understand each other. That when they tell jokes no one else in the room but them understands why it's funny. That when something great happens to either of them they are the first people that they want to tell. That they understand family is everything. 


Today we set off on an afternoon walk around the block as super heros. I loved how this project has made me do things I wouldn't normally do.

We ended up running into two kids that live just around the corner that both go to Ivy's kindy, it was hilarious.

Sonny also spent time picking up the rubbish as I had noted on how walk how naughty some people are to throw their rubbish on the ground. So he spent the rest of the time picking it up. Oh how I love his ways.


I wasn't ready for this day like I won't be ready for all the other milestones that are evidence that my children are no longer my babies.

This is Ivy on the day she moved from the Junior room to Middles. It came earlier than expected as they said she was 'socially and emotionally' ready to move. Of course this is what every parent wants to hear and makes me incredibly proud but to know my baby is no longer in Juniors means she is getting older. 

I know I always crap on about my kids getting older but I do that because I love what them being young brings. On the flip side, it's amazing to watch them grow and learn so I just need to focus on that.

She wears a frozen apron given to her by her head teacher. Taken in the apple orchard at her kindy.