end-of-season camping

We squeezed an end-of-season camping trip in. Just before the weather turned too.  The boy and I arrived in time to grab a good spot and had a night just the two of us before the rest of the homeschool/unschool … Read More

Our local

Waterfall. This is our local. Sometimes we’ll go months driving past on our way to the beach, or work or whatever is going on but we’ve been there a bunch lately. Taking friends who haven’t been there before and getting … Read More

Going gently into 2019…

This is my favourite photo from this holiday season. Sometimes its not the perfectly framed in-focus photos that top my list.  Bodicea has had so much fun with the tree. Jed insists on a cut pine from our traditional source … Read More

‘Tis the season of giving. Have you?

One in five people in NZ live in poverty. This is a hard time of year for lots of reasons, economic disparity being just one. I know we want less consumerism and plastic in the world but we also don’t … Read More


The last two and a half years have been a trip. Through hard times as we transitioned to being a family of two, Jed would talk about going to Fiji together. It was landmark thing for him. A sign that … Read More

Validation Day

When I talk about Twin Oaks Community, I still say ‘we’. A part of me is still there I think. I still have dear friends still living at Twin Oaks. I talk about life there because communal living is rich … Read More

A different kind of Christmas

I used to despise Christmas. I was uncomfortable with the consumerist hijack of a religious holiday and the societal pressure to have your Christmas look like a Hallmark card. I was sensitive to the highlighting of poverty as people stretched … Read More

Hot Springs

The boy and I just went on a roadie to some hot springs. We rented a cabin and it was one of those decorated in the seventies with formica and lino and that particular shade of orange that screams ‘seventies’. It … Read More

An epic day

We had big plans for a road trip up north to see dear friends. I got as far as packing but life had other ideas. Gah! I had to be a grown up and prioritise important things like viewing a … Read More

Office on the beach

  I have gotten out of the habit of taking my flash camera around with me. This is both good and bad. Good because it means I hide behind it less and am more in the moment rather than thinking … Read More

Seasons greetings lovelies.  Whether Christmas, Yule, Solstice or Kwanzaa is your thing, I hope these days are full of all the good things for you.  It’s a hard time for many. On Christmas morning we were walking the dog and … Read More


I love our library services. We had just moved into our new home so were a bit out of the loop about any holiday goings on. Friends told us about a frankentoys session they’d been to at our local library. … 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

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


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 random.org 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

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

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

Birthdays – how we roll

It was an early start. FAR too exciting to stay in bed past 6 am. Gulp! Most days I refuse to get out of bed until someone brings me a coffee. Birthdays are a different story. You only turn eight … Read More

weekend adventure

My boy and I did a little roadtrip to stay with friends in the Coromandel in the holidays. We picked the coldest few days ever, gulp. I had my fingers crossed Jed’s cold would be better by the time we … Read More

Phoenix landing

I think it’s fair to say assimilating a puppy into the whanau is an adjustment all round. Let’s just say I feel for my cat, who I hardly see during the day anymore. Hoping that passes. Training and walks on … Read More

Our own Easter bunny

The long Easter weekend has been a blur of sunshine, egg hunts, a 13 hour catering gig, swimming, cocktails by the pool, 1920’s fancy dress, bunny antics, therapeutic sewing, good friends, puppy shenanigans and deep reflection. Not necessarily in that order. Day … Read More

The very very hot summer

Summer. It’s been a stonker of a summer here in New Zealand. We’ve pretty much been swimming every day for two months. Many an afternoon it has just been too hot to do much of anything but flop in the … Read More

an unexpected guest

We sat down for a picnic at Stony Batter on Waiheke Island and look who popped in!  Weka used to be common all throughout the North Island of New Zealand but due to loss of habitat and predators are now … Read More

Stony Batter

There was a certain birthday we were over at Waiheke to celebrate. Not mine but fun nonetheless. We went on a birthday adventure. Birthday person gets to choose. Those of us who don’t like going for long walks very much … Read More

Waihere getaway

I was grateful for a break from an unusually scorching summer for our four days away. A bit of cloud cover and a sprinkle of rain was so welcome. It has been too hot to do much of anything except … Read More

silo park and wynyard quarter

In my youth, Auckland downtown waterfront area was a bit grim. Gone are those days.  Silo Park and Wynyard Quarter are very cool areas to hang out now. Plenty for the kids to do with a playground and interactive exploring … Read More

classic NZ

We had a mission over the other side of Auckland and north a bit to the Whangaporoa Peninsula last weekend. Since we had to go, we figured we’d make a day of it. Explore a bit. Find a good beach … Read More

the waterhole

There are some folks who camp near this waterhole every year. They dig out the steps, build the dam to deepen the water hole for swimming. It’s basically their bathroom for the 20 days they’re here. They do a fine … Read More

summer fruit fest

It’s a summer fruit fest. Just look at my fruit bowl.  Okay, so it’s not my regular fruit bowl that sits on the bench, it’s my pull out occasionally special dish that was my Nana’s. (Just in case y’all get … Read More

A night in Mokau

 New Zealand isn’t really that big. None of the 5 day 5 night across the country road trips that I did in the USA, but even so, I like to break car journeys into bite size pieces these days. Tempers … Read More

summer in full swing

I THINK this was taken at Wellington City’s Lyall Bay. There were so many stops to swim on our road trip, all those beautiful beaches have kinda blurred into one wet happy sandy summer scene in my head. That may … Read More

thanks and goodbye 2014

LOOK here 2014…you have been a doozy.  I had no idea what I was in for. I went gaily into you all full of lofty plans and am coming out the other side somewhat out of breath. You had your … Read More


I love a few days in the big city. We live just outside Auckland, NZ’s biggest city, but the capital, Wellington, is a much better fit for me. My sister, partner and Jed’s cousin live in Wellington, as do some … Read More

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