the importance of laughter

I was folding the washing when the phone rang. When I returned I found this. A small dog placed on a pile of clean washing. So funny. Things are a bit challenging around here at the moment and I really … Read More

Trash Footwear

I met Ben at Kraftbomb market. I sold a chunk of my GrowMama stock and left with a pair of Trash sandals as a treat. That was years ago and those Mahatma sandals are still going strong and are much … Read More

this stonking hot summer

New Zealand’s weather is a funny thing. Around yule time I was in a woolly jumper after swimming in the sea in a wetsuit. Yet January has just been the hottest summer I can remember here. Many days the only … Read More

Natural wasp sting treatment

Jed and I took our new neighbours along our bush track the other day and while in pursuit of some bamboo, I blundered into a wasps nest. There must have been hundreds of the dudes in there, they all came … Read More

a bumper crop

Jed has a pet sitting business. He may be eight, but I can already tell you I am not concerned about his financial future. One day while across the road feeding Ms Puss, we discovered their abandoned garden housed a … Read More

summer holidays

We’re deep in summer. It’s 7.42 on Saturday evening and it’s still stinking hot. We’ve had some wild weather and last week I was wearing a woollen jumper on the beach after my swims. NZ summers can be a fickle … Read More

new fave green smoothie

Oh my goodness, I need to get back into town for more supplies, this smoothie was so good!  Fresh pineapple, soaked goji berries, spinach and peppermint out of the garden, lemon straight off the tree, lime, spirulina powder, raw manuka … Read More


One of Jed’s very best friends has gone gallivanting around Europe and Egypt for the entire summer break. Six weeks is a long time apart for friends who see each other so much. In a wonderful stroke of fate, his … Read More

these guys

These guys. Honestly. So funny. Phoenix turned one today. One year ago, his mama went for a pee and looked very surprised at what landed on the lawn. True story. Admittedly not the most auspicious of starts but we can’t … Read More

Old Year New Year

Solstice fleeted past with barely a whoop or a whimper my end. Just too busy and gobsmacked at the butt end of a year that I had high hopes for and can’t wait to see the end of. Not to … Read More

Tis the season

For years I avoided the consumeristic side of Christmas. I lived overseas for a big chunk of my life so it was easy to go bush, or just work through and avoid the commercialism of it all. Now, with a … Read More

summer sewing therapy

In the midst of the busy I have been seeking the calm of creative work. Those of you who been popping in here at GrowMama awhile know that I sometimes sew as a kind of therapy. I think we all … Read More

And the winner is…

Heartfelt thanks for all your comments about your holiday traditions. I had a lovely time reading them all and replying. I sorted through the double ups and facebook entries for the Big GrowMama Holiday Giveaway. I numbered all your entries … Read More


We had the last class and karate training of the year yesterday. Karate grading tomorrow then we’re in holiday mode. It’s been our busiest term yet. I strive for a simple life with lots of time in nature and pockets of … Read More

Stephanie Grace Jewellery, Lakoko and 100 Acts of Sewing

Right! Here are three of the amazing offerings in the Big GrowMama Holiday Giveaway. I wanted to introduce you to their makers. All incredible people doing great work. Read on! I met Stephanie from Stephanie Grace Jewellery at a market … Read More

Elves, Tinkers and Thunderpants

 I want to introduce you to the beautiful people who are offering products for the big Holiday GrowMama Giveaway that is running now. Some of you have emailed asking about ethical and unique Christmas gift ideas…wander around these folks websites … Read More

The BIG GrowMama Holiday Giveaway

 Welcome!  The Big GrowMama Holiday Giveaway is now closed, as of midnight 18th December, 2015. I will be drawing the winner by and announcing the winner and the two runner-ups on Sunday evening.  Good luck!  To win all this … Read More

A gift for you: A Christmas mandala

There are rhythms to our year. In the run up to Solstice and Christmas, like most holidays, we make things. We make peppermint bark, special cookies, cards and gifts to give.  We make for many reasons. It helps bring meaning … Read More

Summer is nigh

We’ve gone from very cold weather to Auckland classic humid warm weather. Cue the mosquitoes, sunburn, the first swims of the season (the kids swim all year round, we breed ’em hardy round here), garden madness, flowers and the busyness … Read More


We visited friends today. They have four new chicks to raise and integrate into their flock. It was stinking hot. It’s gone from freezing winds to baking summer weather in a day here. We hung out with the babies in … Read More

Meeting edison

We belong to a homeschool science club. It’s like a giant library of educational science gear and DVD’s. We choose what set we would like to borrow for the term. It’s a great way to explore cool stuff without the … Read More

dog happy

There is no happy like dog happy. Give the dude off leash time on the beach and life is good. Throw a ball into the mix, or a stick or a piece of kelp and sheesh, he has it made. … Read More

scooters and skateboards

Along with the picnic blanket, water, spare clothes and shoes that live in the boot of my car, there are various wheels. A scooter or two, helmet and skateboard usually travel with us too. I find it amazing that even … Read More

a different pace

Every now and then I get a glimpse of the young man Jed will be. The baby/toddler/and young child days are long gone. He is doing more activities than ever before, taking on more responsibilities, is more focussed and needing … Read More


I learn a lot from the sea and it’s shores.  It is constantly changing. The colours, the waves and tides and what the high tide brings to lay upon the sand. I can never predict what the sea will do. … Read More

a summer sewing jag

I got some early summer sewing in this year. Thanks to the need for therapeutic sewing kicking in and the unexpected trip to Fiji I got on a roll. I think my bag for Fiji was 75% handmade garments. I … Read More

They’re ready!

The broad beans are ready at last. There is something calming in the process of picking and shucking beans. I have been waiting and waiting. It always seems an age from when I plant them to harvest. So good! Lightly steamed or … Read More

Here’s a project

Here’s a project! I love it when you see a project online and all the materials are to hand. We had a hex bug already. We’ve used the little dude for all sorts of projects. Quite funny to place under … Read More

Wishes and Worries

My hope is that these books make it into every kid’s home and school.  Wishes and Worries is a story about a young boy who struggles with anxiety and how he learns to overcome it. It’s well written and beautifully illustrated … Read More

flora and fauna in Fiji

A big part of any journey is investigating the land and it’s inhabitants. Fiji was no exception. When we first arrived there were these huge amazing birds just sitting hovering, completely still, on a thermal. They were there for so … Read More

woodworking fijian style

Jed is into his woodworking. His toolboxes are legendary. For awhile he would disappear into a neighbours workshop and the two of them would research and design different swords. When they started hanging out I had visions of him bringing home … Read More


We are just back from Fiji. I didn’t work the whole time I was away and was totally off line. No screens! And nope, I didn’t even get twitchy. I read three books and we swam a lot. It was … Read More

passing on the good stuff

A friend was moving house. Her kids had houses of their own and her son’s precious stone and geological collection needed a new home. She is a dear person this friend. Jed already has a handsome treasure box full of … Read More

the humble oatcake

Oh my. Now, the first thing to say here is that this is not a sponsored post. These delicious little numbers arrived on my doorstep courtesy of a good friend who worked for the company. She loved them and thought … Read More

for the love of lego

Lego is a big part of most days here. These past two terms we’ve been part of a homeschooling science lending library that allows us to have different educational sets for a term. Some of us are high novelty and … Read More


A great thing about having a dog now is we HAVE to get outside a few times a day. It is easy for us to get caught up in our projects and classes and work inside. But outside is soooo … Read More

balls in the air (and on the ground)

When things are hard at home, everything else wobbles. That’s my experience anyway. And when the wobbles are on a repeat cycle, ill health can creep in. It’s just that much harder to keep the balls in the air. I … Read More

uncooperative bugs

The sun shone! That alone is worthy news for a blog post at the moment. It’s been so rainy and grim lately. Normal spring weather for New Zealand I’m afraid. But…that subtle shift in temperature and growth of green things … Read More

growing bacteria

We just did this cool experiment at home. Our homeschooling crew is so awesome. I posted an experiment on the GrowMama facebook page. Friends saw it and ordered bulk large petrie dishes from a lab and put a call out on … Read More

even super heroes need rest

I woke up exhausted today. Like I had been up partying and only had half an hours sleep. (I think I still remember what that feels like!) For no good reason either. It’s been one of those dips in the … Read More

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