Monday, 8 January 2018



 Meet OLLIE the 1982 Windsor Statesman, aka our third child! Looking at these photos I actually can't believe we pulled this off. Brad and I are the most un-handy of handy man types... like I'm talking so bad that one day Brad was hanging a shelf in our house and he dropped the drill which fell onto our shag rug and spun in the threads causing the drill to become tangled in the shag. Oh and the shelf he put up fell down as soon as I put a few photo frames up on it. We are handy man disabled. So why the hell would we take this on? Well we just figured with 2 kids and both working full time we just had so much time to spare so why not! But seriously, it actually came down to money. Every year we go on a road trip and hire a camper van. In 2017 we wanted to head to Byron Bay and after sitting down one night and crunching the numbers we worked out that you would have to be a) completely insane to drive from Adelaide to Byron with 2 kids, one of which is only 7 months old and b) we needed to be rich and rich we are not. A few wines in and I was like 'babe it would be so much cheaper if we just bought our own caravan!' Next minute we were on gumtree and 3 weeks later we found our girl Ollie.

So as I have mentioned, we are not handy but we are also not silly. We knew that our abilities maxed out with basics such as sanding and painting and that our knowledge relied heavily on youtube tutorials. If you have the skills to completely gut, re-wire and put in new walls then bloody well go for it but we went into this project knowing our weaknesses so we chose a van that had good bones. We wanted a van that we could do a minimal amount to but have a big impact... we came to learn very quickly that wall putty and crisp white paint would soon become our new BFF's. We got very lucky with the floors, they were good enough to leave in so we saved a huge amount of time and money there. The before pics above also don't show the bed that was in the back section before we completely gutted her. Stupidly I forgot to take a pic of it but it was a monstrosity.

Regardless of her excellent bones we still did a shite load of work and all those things like electrics and plumbing that we thought we had under control soon reared their ugly (expensive) heads so unfortunately with those sorts of unexpected things we had to outsource. Let me just insert here that my dad is a genuine super hero. A drill wielding ninja who at 67 shits all over Scotty Cam and Bear Grylls. If it wasn't for my dad this caravan would not have happened, or it would have but we would be $5k out of pocket. Aside from those fiddly little things like adding lights that actually work he also built us a custom made (nearly) king size bed. I said 'dad this is what I want to build' and he said 'ok' (he is a man of few words) and 7 days later he had welded together our fold out bed, complete with pull out cot for Charlie. And I only had to pay him in beers. Legend.

Im not going to completely break down costs but I will let you know what you are up for if you are thinking of taking on a project like this..

-The van cost us $5k and we got it off gumtree but you can also try the Facebook store if you are looking 
- We spent close to $2k on interior renovations which includes all appliances, linen, upholstery etc
- Things like new brakes, tyres and all that boring stuff cost about $1500
- To get the outside painted it its going to cost us $2200

That is a very rough guide but all up we came in just under 11k and we have a house on wheels to holiday in with our little family for the rest of their young lives to show for it. 

Was it worth it? Absolutely. Would we do it again? Nope, one is enough. Did we almost get divorced during reno's? Numerous times. Thinking about doing it too? DO IT! 


PS more of our reno story will be in the next Kiddo Mag including things like 'what to look out for when buying a van' and the best places to holiday.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017


I don't think you ever appreciate how truly beautiful you are whilst pregnant until its all over... I know I just felt huge, hot and blotchy!
I hope that you can look back on these pics one day Annabel and realise just how stunning you are.

Now to wait the arrival of baby Gray!!!

Thursday, 1 June 2017


When Harper was born I kept waiting for that lightening bolt moment. That 'instant bond' that all parents talk about when they see their child for the first time... that instant connection between mother and baby that changes your life forever. I waited a year and a half for this moment to hit me with my first child, 6 months of that time to realise that it was post natal depression holding me back from bonding with my baby not some kind of defect in me as a mother. 

Society tells us that all women are born to be mothers, we love our children no matter what and all the sacrifices we make are just part of the wonderful journey of our little #miracle. I'm pretty sure I said I hate my baby at least every day in those first few months and I constantly had thoughts of "What have I done! I had a good life before this!" I cried every day but on the outside I acted like the perfect mother I thought everyone expected of me. My husband and I fought every single night, I even threatened to leave him, going as far as packing my bags, but when we were around our friends we acted like our marriage was perfect and we were totally acing this whole parenting thing. 

Little did I know that I was part of the problem! Women like me that acted like I was ok and put on the 'perfect mum mask' were the reason why it took me a year and a half to heal and actually bond with Harper. It took the first year and a half of Harpers life for me to finally realise that perfect mums are only highlight reels on instagram and most of us cry in the shower every now and then. 

I still find it bizarre that more women don't warn you about how hard it is. Surely even those super maternal mums that make their own organic baby food have days where they just want to leave their baby in a room and go have coffee somewhere for an hour. Why do women not talk about it? Like really talk about it, not just fluff over it saying things like 'haha oh yes I suppose I'm tired but its all worth it to have my little angel here...' Why don't we get real with each other and give a heads up that you won't sleep for the first 2 months (at all), your nipples will hurt so much that just putting on your bra will hurt, your vagina looks like a smashed taco and if like me and you got haemorrhoids you will have a bunch of grapes hanging out our asshole for the next month! 

But... all that said.... I did finally experience that 'oh my god I couldn't love you more' moment when I gave birth to my little girl Charlie Flynn 3 weeks ago. As soon as she was out I grabbed her, put her to my chest and told her I loved her over and over again. And I actually did, I was besotted. 

It could be that its 3.5 years on since having Harper so maybe I was more ready to have a baby, it could be because I had since learnt to bond with Harper so it was easier this time to recognise those feelings or it could be the fact that this time there was no bullshit. This time there were no illusions going in thinking this 'instant bond' would mean that all the hard stuff that comes along with birth and those first few weeks don't matter. 

This time I did have that 'instant bond' but that in no way took away from the fact that my vagina had been torn in two places and a doctor was stitching me up while I attempted to breast feed for the first time. The 'instant bond' didn't take away from that first night at home where it was just me and my husband, absolutely scared shitless, changing nappies full of black poo having no concept of day or night. It didn't take away from the following weeks of juggling a toddler and a new born and making sure I kept her alive without neglecting my 3 year old and make him feel rejected. It hasn't taken away from the fact that my husband and I just try and survive getting through the days and haven't even as much kissed on the lips since she was born. 

My two experiences with my kids could not have ben more different... Harper was an amazing pregnancy where as with Charlie I was hospitalised with severe vomiting. Harper was a horrendous birth with 3rd degree tearing and a blood transfusion where as Charlie was (still effing hard work) but so much more controlled and there were minimal injuries. My body bounced back by the time I left the hospital with Harper where as Charlie I put on more weight than I care to share and I have a lot of work to do before I will feel confident with my body again. And Harper I didn't bond with until after I reached out for help with my PND but with Charlie I can't stop staring at her and kissing her pouty little lips. 

I've learnt a lot since having kids, I don't think you can ever be prepared for how much it changes your life and continues to change and challenge you every single day. I have learnt to be more patient, I have learnt to ask for help and I have learnt to take advantage of the red wine sales at BWS! The biggest thing I have learnt is that no parent is perfect and no mum doesn't have a day where they think they are failing. We all have days where we high five ourselves and share a beautiful picture on instagram to show off that moment and we all have days where we don't leave the house and throw our kids at our husbands as soon as they walk through the door at 6pm (wine already breathing on the kitchen counter). Some parents co-sleep, some control cry. Some mothers breast feed for 18 months and some switch to formula after 1 month. There is no right or wrong and no matter what we do its god dam hard work... regardless of that 'instant bond' moment. 


Tuesday, 31 January 2017


Firstly.... sorry about the repetition of these photos but I couldn't decide which ones to post so I just posted them all (and i'm not sorry at all). Secondly... this was the coldest, wettest, windiest, soggiest shoot I have ever done. EVER! And I was in jeans and a jacket so spare a thought for our model Nicola who's only protection from frostbite was a thin layer of fabric and some foliage.

I have been meaning to share this shoot for months because regardless of the conditions on the day it is hand's down one of my fav shoots yet. When Kylie of Flower Society Co approached me to take these pics and explained that she was going to be making some big ass flower wings and head-wreaths larger than Mariah Carey's ego I knew we were going to create something pretty amazing. 

We kept the location simple utilising the rustic nature of Penny's Hill Winery and let the colours and natural beauty do the talking. Oh and that slither of sunlight that we got added no warmth what so ever but man did it add to the shoot, making Nicola look like some kind of halo bathed Angel!

Photographer: Danielle Symes 
Model: Nicola Cross
Make-Up: Samantha Ruby
Hair: Mel Holman


PS- I finally got my butt into gear and I made myself a little website! Its got pricing and everything! Check it out HERE if you are in the market.