Alex, Port Stephens, NSW
Meet alex warden.
Photographer, mum and early-riser Alex Warden calls the calm aqua waters of Port Stephens home with her rad dad Blake, their two kids Lennon & Van, and a cheeky rescue dog, Turbo.
With a love for all things saltwater and adventure, Alex shares some insights into motherhood, traveling & family life.
Tell us a little about yourself!
I'm a mama of 2 and family lifestyle photographer for the ocean dwellers and water babies, I'm based in Port Stephens but regularly travel up and down the East Coast for sessions. I take photos from both the shore and in the sea, tagging along on super fun family adventures and I absolutely LOVE what I do! I'm always up for an adventure. You'll find me sneaking in a quick surf with friends after school drop off most mornings.
What do you love about where you call home?
Beautiful Port Stephens, what's not to love about this place? We feel so at home here. If sleepy coastal towns, clear blue water and loads of outdoor activities are your jam, you need to add Port Stephens to the top of your travel list!
Who is in your family?
Blake is the rad dad - probably the funniest person I've ever met, his quick wit drives me crazy, but he can make us all laugh regardless of the situation. Crazy about spearfishing, adventure and being a dad.
Lennon, the eldest rad kid (5) is always drawing, singing and twirling. She has a heart of gold, the most infectious energy and makes friends everywhere she goes.
Van, the youngest rad kid (4) is our little ninja, always fly kicking, jumping and climbing. He loves 80's rock n roll, does a mean air guitar and can be found picking flowers for his mama every time he steps outside.
And there's Turbo, the rad pooch. Our little Jack Russel we adopted 4 years ago, the perfect addition to the fam. He has friend all over the neighbourhood and finds creative ways to escape to go see his pals!
What do you like to do as a family?
We're a family of water babies, we fish, dive, surf and love to go boating. We especially love taking our caravan away, so much so we're giving it a major makeover at the moment to take off in 2023 around Australia. The kids have definitely caught the travel bug and are both just as excited about the trip as us!
Where have your favourite travel spots been? Anywhere on the list for summer?
Ohh that's tough, there's so many, but generally anywhere where the saltwater and sunshine is. There's so much close to home which has been amazing with the kids, as we often scoot off for little weekenders up the Great Lakes or down to the Central Coast. We're heading right up the East Coast to Noosa this Summer for a working holiday in the caravan. Lately we've also been planning our trip around Oz and the West Coast is at the top of our list to go and explore!
What are your favourite books to read at the moment?
Absolutely loving 'The Storyteller' by Dave Grohl at the moment - highly recommend the audiobook as he narrates it and really is the best storyteller. There is a few books I come back to each year and re-read, recently I've picked up 'Big Magic' by Elizabeth Gilbert again, I've lost count of how many times I've read it, it's so valuable for living creatively.
What has been the most surprising part of your motherhood journey?
That there is always more surprises around the corner. Be it an unexpected premature birth, first steps, a little sibling covered in sudocream, poop on a new rug or a trip to the emergency department, each and every day there's something new to be surprised, amazed or shocked about.
Do you have any self care tips or rituals you like to do?
I'm a morning person, as in 4.30am by choice kinda morning person, not for everyone I know, it wasn't for me once either, but then 2 very loud energiser bunny kids came along and things like drinking a hot coffee and going for a walk alone became my kinda self-care. 'Win the morning, win the day' they say and I wholeheartedly agree
Your Best mama hack or hacks?
Sitting together as a family to eat dinner each night, without any other distractions. It's been a ritual of ours since the kids started on food. It's where all the best chats happen, where the dance performances break out mid-feed, where we laugh so hard we nearly choke on our chops, where we all check-in on each other and find out how everyone's day has been. Also highly recommend writing your children's funny quotes down in a book. We have some absolute cracker one-liners in ours!