Saturday, April 12, 2014


We stumbled across a little gem recently. On adventure up to see friends we stopped by a cafe called Bees Online to show Jed the bees. But. It no longer existed. This was actually a good thing. The bee colony was still in residence and a new group had taken ownership. Now called Provenance, we had the best lunch. It began with homemade plum and mint soda garnished with flowers from the garden. So good!

They are about to embark on a total refurbishment to achieve their vision of a more sustainable dining experience. Most of the vegetables are from on-site gardens or sourced from their farm down the road, which also provides vegetables and herbs for their other cafe. 

I love seeing more seasonal food available at reasonable prices. And that vision of knowing where all produce comes from and having relationships with suppliers HAS to be part of the future if we are to be more sustainable. And no, they didn't pay me to gush about the meal...I just get super excited about stuff like this. And check out my salad...all freshly picked from within a mile of the place that morning. The colours!

Monday, April 7, 2014

parenting tools - what are yours?

I field a fair amount of questions about parenting. I think it is about time I added a bunch of parenting resources here on GrowMama.

It changes so much doesn't it...from conception, pregnancy, birth or adoption and the unfurling of our parenting selves into later child raising years. You just get into a groove and they go and change it up and you have to upskill, talk to other mama's or just tune into your instincts. 

What are your go-to parenting resources? I would love to know the books, websites and other resources that feed your parenting soul. Leave a comment below or email me if you'd rather (quite a few of you do it seems!)- I would love to hear from you.

Maybe our favourite parenting books, links and resources will reach more folks that need them. This would be a good thing!

My favourites? I have always loved Jon and Myra Kabat-Zinn's book 'Everyday Blessings'. I have a copy and lend it out alot. I love Pennie Brownlee, Gordon Neufeld and Aletha Solter's work. Sarah Napthali's Buddhism for Mothers is another great potentially lifechanging read. Genevieve Simperingham's Peaceful Parent Institute has a fantastic archive of articles and if anyone ever gets a chance to go to one of Genevieve's workshops...GO!  And now in the thick of our homeschooling/natural learning journey...there are more resources along those lines. There is more and I will put up a blog post announcing when the parenting resource section is complete.

Gosh I had a blast going back through these old photos! What a trip this mama path is!
And sheesh, we have fun. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014


Grandad doesn't have a car so we picked him up one day and drove out to Maraetai. A major trip from where we live. But so worth it.

The photos from this day are so special to me. Maraetai was where my Nana and Poppa, aunties and cousins all lived. As a kid we were out visiting most weekends and I spent many happy holiday staying with Nan and Pop. So it's a place of many memories.

Jed had never been out there. It was a new place for him, but a BIG walk down memory lane for me and my dad. 

So cool to see Jed playing and swimming in the exact place I spent so many happy hours when I was a girl. He spent hours in the water. 

The waves were about 5cm high maximum there on the East Coast, so very different from the wild surf beach we live near. Kinda nice to be able to relax a bit (as much as you ever can near water with kids) and not have to worry about rips and surges.

Sometimes it is hard to find time in a busy life for days like these. But they are memories to drip feed a lifetime. A boy only gets so much time with his beloved Grandad. And me with my dad.

As a super triple dooper bonus, dear friends (Hi Emma and Chan and Sage!) are over from Australia and are staying at their friends place two doors down from my Nan and Pop's old house. Synchronicity at work there.

Em and Jed used to hang out while I wrote when he was a little guy and they have always had a special connection. Now Jed gets to hang out with Sage, Emma and Chan's baby. There was much excitement here when Sage was born and we hope to hang out some more before they go back over the ditch. Yup, special times. 

Friday, April 4, 2014


We have been creating up a storm of different juices and smoothies in the last week. We have a machine! I have been thinking about it for years and finally met a wonderful man through work who is the NZ agent for the Ladyship essence extractor. I umm'ed and ahh'ed for weeks and finally took the plunge. Jed was super excited to be able to make green smoothies at home. And, oh the juices and smoothie combinations we have been coming up with! So fun. I swear we have a glow on too.

It's a lifechanger!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

a unique boutique

I am terrible at eating well when we are out and about. I rarely eat breakfast if we leave the house early. I just have no appetite first thing. And too many times, I would get edgy about 2 or 3pm and realise I hadn't eaten. Not good. And not the model I want to be for my kid. Solution? Pack a mama lunch as WELL as Jed's lunch. Jed has had a Goodbyn lunchbox that I have been envious of for a few years so I was thrilled to find Goodbyn was available in NZ. I found a lovely online shop called Unique Boutique and placed my order.

I ordered one of Goodbyn's small meal boxes and a dipper for my salad dressing. It was an investment in health and wellbeing. And I loved the parcel that arrived... beautifully wrapped and a little gift tucked inside. Before we had even washed that first small meal box, we ordered another, plus another dipper and a snack box. 

But then came the actual using of the boxes. Nobody could put the lids on. Least of all Jed, and in the back of the car, driving windy roads alot, as we do...well, that is not ideal. They were a different plastic to the original Goodbyn, the lids didn't fit easily, the Goodbyn bottle was just slightly too big to fit in the small meal box and the leak proof dippers leaked my salad dressing everywhere. I went from excited to disappointed pretty darn quickly. That original Goodbyn lunchbox was SO great...cut down on packaging as each compartment seals individually, the lid was easy to manipulate, a drink bottle fitted in. I still thoroughly recommend the original lunchboxes. 
I emailed Goodbyn and got a fast response which was great, but was disappointed all over again reading it - they basically said they knew the lids weren't great and to watch out for their new designs coming out in 2015. Not enough really. 
I emailed Unique Boutique...and what a difference. She was empathic, supportive and offered to give my my money back right away. I had a great experience buying the lunch boxes in the first place and I won't hesitate to shop there in future. Great customer service like that is SUCH a good business practice, as well as simply the right thing to do.
Unique Boutique's a good place!

What lunchboxes do you use?