23 October 2012

Miss A

I recently photographed this gorgeous girl for her talent agency shoot.
I took these in the orchard in the beautiful late afternoon light.

The shoot was pretty easy with that beautiful face and gorgeous green eyes and happy smile. I think those happy shots really make you smile back but I really love her serious face. 
Ahh such young beauty.... 

She's stunning hey? I am so sure she will go far.

18 October 2012


Honestly I say this blog is about being honest. But sometimes it's really not.

While I am busy posting pretty baking pictures and photographing the lovely sparkling blue eyes of my delightful offspring there are many layers underneath this slightly-above-her-average-weight, blue eyed freckle faced and very disorganised woman. I've been told on good authority that procrastination is a Farrell family gene (Farrell is my maiden name).

Layers of fear, striving to achieve and wanting acceptance that sometimes puts me off my balance. Sometimes I don't write things for fear of upsetting people. Namely my mum and dad who read this blog. They are the last people in the world I hate to upset and disappoint. 

My relationship with my parents is close. Really close.
Same goes for my brothers.
We are a good unit. My little brother was my best friend growing up.
My older brother was later on one of my best friends (the 18 month age gap was a bit too close for us when we were teenagers).

But back to my parents.

When I was 14 my mum decided to go back to school. She wanted to live her dream she had always had of being a nurse. Except she ended up dedicating her life and her dreams for 3 little dreams instead. And she did a terrific job of raising my brothers and I, she was fun and adventurous and beautiful. She still is.
She achieved her dream after a few years of regaling nasty medical stories, often at the dinner table while we struggled to keep our food down. Mum was never shy of saying the word penis.
When she graduated she went with her heart and ended up in the oncology department at Auckland Hospital and found her place in the world of nursing. She is an amazing nurse. So passionate, so caring and loving and so knowledgeable. She even has her Masters. 

My dad has always been a gentle man. 
Perhaps a little bit OCD at times. He washes wine glasses like a boss.
Like I said on this post he's always been there for me and my brothers. Very protective and very involved and we couldn't have asked for a better dad. There are so many reasons why but I guess I've just always been his little girl and I always knew he would do anything for me if it came to it. 

Which brings me to my point. I do have a point somewhere in here.

The day I was diagnosed with cancer. 
Well that was a hard day. It still brings me to tears to recall it.
After thinking "I'm gonna die" my next thought was "how do I tell mum and dad?"
Owen and I got through the appointment - it was a massive blur really. I just kept crying.
When we got in the car and headed further towards home, where mum and dad were waiting for us the dread kept growing. Why does my mum have to experience this first hand? She KNOWS this stuff. Too well. As we walked into the house solemn and puffy eyed and worried beyond all heck I think they knew. But I still had to say the words. 

Mum its cancer.

I don't ever remember looking at their faces. 
It was just too hard.

As recent as the last few weeks, in fact the last week before school finished last term I had a freak out moment that I decided to keep to myself. I found a lump in my remaining breast that felt vaguely similar to the lump I found 2 1/2 years ago that spun our lives from kinda normal to upside-down.
So what did I do? Well first I panicked, then I rang my research nurse at Auckland. Then I rang my GP and booked an appointment. STAT. 

I may have thought about my funeral plan. Again. It's really hard choosing the music.

Within the week I was in a clinic having an ultrasound which praise be to God was completely clear. No sign of anything. I skipped out of there as light as a feather. It was a cyst, not what I usually experience but it must have come on with an early and heavy period (*sorry dad...TMI? That means Too Much Information)

But you know what I didn't do? I didn't ring my mum. The thought of putting her through the sleepless nights and worry again was too much to bear. Especially if it was unknown still. We had already been through enough. I didn't want to raise the alarm unless it was really happening. 
But it just hasn't felt right not being able to blog this by wanting to keep it from people I love. I really want to write honestly. Not always about lovely cakes and children and frolicking in orchards. That's all very nice and magical but really being REAL is important to me. I WANT to be able to include it.

So there's my confessional. 
You may think it's nothing but I've prided myself on the fact I have a friendship with my mum and I kept something from her that she would want to know about. Geez, if it were my daughter I'd want to know too. 
Mum and Dad...I love you. 
I'm always thinking about you and its sometimes not easy being further away hey?

Like I said. There are many layers. Many many layers.

(and hey, it all ended up okay afterall right?)

17 October 2012

Spiced Pudding Cakes with Whiskey Caramel Sauce

These little beauties will be in my book but I couldn't help sharing more photos here.

They are delicious.

I've featured them before but that was SO two years ago.
I've worked and worked on them and these are much improved.

This sauce is so ahhhmazing!

You'll have to wait for the recipe though sorry ;)

14 October 2012


I took the kids up to Auckland for some time with family and friends these holidays.

We went home. Or did we?

As lovely as it was to be up in our home town without rushing around to various medical appointments I was so relieved to get to our actual home in Katikati yesterday afternoon. Despite the severe wind warning and the lack of power from the stormy winds.
We got out the candles and camped in the lounge instead. 

Its been 8 months since we moved and home has now become a different place.
And that's a good thing.

The kids have been wanting to do this ever since we moved down this way...

Staying at mum and dads. The most perfect cup of tea everytime.

Putting our feet in the sand at Cheltenham Beach and soaking up the sun in our favourite spot.

Spending a sunny morning in the garden with this lovely woman , her mum and Hannah and Osky

But it sure was nice to be up in Auckland with some sun and some beautiful people. 
It's still pretty amazing up there!

Thank you all.

08 October 2012

Delissimon Book

With only weeks left before my book has to be off to the printers I'm frantically pulling everything together - sitting at my computer and moaning occasionally or bashing my head against the desk because the computer is deciding to go so.damn.slow.

Lucky for me its school holidays and I've got the kids outside playing make believe castles in the orchard, or when its raining getting the craft stuff out and making do while I continue to barely acknowledge them and allow them to eat marshmallows for lunch. I'm modelling such amazing parenting right now! Hehe.
Its okay, they're not being deprived (in fact they are loving it).

So. The book. I realise I haven't explained much about it but I'm doing it because its my final BIG project for my photography diploma. It will be about 55 pages and has around 13 recipes that I've developed and perfected over the last 7 years. I'm so so proud of this and I really hope it leads to more opportunities for me to showcase what I can do. I can't wait to show you all!

Keep your eyes peeled this December as it won't be available until then.
There is more information to come soon on pricing etc...and maybe some more sneak peeks!


02 October 2012

So I'm not gloating or anything...

but I'm so excited! ... look!

This is my article (4 pages!!) for the Pink Magazine 2012. Please buy it to support breast cancer in New Zealand if you can. You can find it here or at most major magazine retailers.

This article is to inform people about Young Survivors and tell part of my story.
I also couldn't be more proud to share some of this with my beautiful mother featured on a photograph with me. I hope she doesn't mind - I didn't tell her I was putting her face in there!

eeek!! *excited squeal.

Weekend Bliss

So yeah its Tuesday and I'm finally posting about the weekend.
My computer mouse ran out of batteries.
And I was having too much fun not sitting at a computer anyway.

 The third school term has ended and we have entered the spring school holidays. I am anticipating sunshine these holidays. I am PRAYING for sunshine these holidays. We need a break from the grey.

This weekend we pottered, the kids played, we spread ourselves out on the deck with blankets and pillows in an attempt to soak up every single ray of sunshine. Our cheeks and shoulders were left pink, reminding me to start stocking up on sunscreen.
Climbing into bed at night feeling the boost of vitamin D running through my body = sleeping like a baby.

Johnny and Katie picked me flowers.

Madeline and I made bread.

I'm still plodding away on my book recipes so apologies for lack of posting lately. All my concentration has been elsewhere. But just hold tight as next month you will get to see the fruits of all my labours.

Here's to a good school holidays!