Thanks for popping by.
I’m Jen, the blogger behind Mama Has Got This. I live in Sydney with my husband Zen, and my three year old daughter, Clara.
This blog is a curation of what I know now — it’s a collection I’ve been gathering since becoming a mother — of resources, wisdom, experiences, tools and more, for an inspired and intentional life.
I share these to pass on the gems of wisdom from lessons learned in hope that it somehow will make a little difference to someone somewhere.
Random facts about me
UNTIL I BECAME I MOTHER, I HAD NEVER
Gone to the cinema alone
I BOOST MY ENERGY & MOOD BY
Earthing at the beach
I NEVER THOUGHT I’D BE
Vegan for just over 2 years now
I HAVE THE SAME PERSONALITY TYPE AS
Oprah & Barack Obama! (ENFJ-A)
I NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT
My reusable coffee cup
MY FAVOURITE JUNK FOOD IS
ALDI’s deli-style chilli chips
They’re slightly hotter than the Kettle brand!
Commonly asked questions
How long have you been blogging / how did you start blogging?
I started my first blog in 2004; I had learned to manually code and build blogs in uni before WordPress was a thing. In 2006, I set-up jenius.com.au as a personal portfolio and a space to document my food adventures and photography — that eventually morphed into iatemywaythrough.com in which I grew to a readership of over 80,000 visitors/month, with a team of 20+ contributors. We also ran food events and tours around Sydney. At the time of inception, I Ate My Way Through was strictly a hobby but I was lucky to be able to pursue it as a full-time gig in mid-2009. I created Mama’s Got This in 2017 when I fell pregnant. I wanted to share all the tools and resources that I was discovering to help others on the same parenthood journey.
What kind of equipment do you use to take your photos?
Most of the photography on this blog is shot with a Canon 5D Mark III with a 24-70mm lens. I always use natural light.
I use a GorillaPod to take family portraits but other than that, I don’t use much photography equipment.
Almost all the photography on Instagram is shot with an iPhone X which allows me to capture the special candid moments.
What apps / filters do you use to edit your photos?
When shot in RAW with my DSLR, I use Lightroom to post-process my photos. I use custom presets which I’ve tweaked over the years.
On my iPhone, I firstly use Snapseed to adjust the white balance and then the selection tool to highlight any areas; or the healing tool to tidy up any inconsistencies. Then the image is imported to VSCO where I typically use the E2 filter with a lowered saturation. I go through different phases — the S2 filter was my favourite when I first started the Mama’s Got This Instagram account so you may have noticed a transition to these warmer tones from the earlier posts.
I plan my posts on the Preview app to ensure the grid looks cohesive.
While I became an entrepreneur first, it was the impending responsibilities of motherhood and the quest for freedom to do what I want when I want, that pushed me to resign from my full-time job on the eve of my 25th birthday.
Almost ten years on, I’m extremely grateful for the opportunities I’ve had in learning how to build two great companies. I’ve spent the last decade passionately learning everything I could about business and leadership; it’s been an incredible ride with some amazing highs and some terrifying lows but I can’t imagine living life any other way. I’m lucky to have Zen as my greatest cheerleader of 17 years (and the best husband in the world during the last 6 years) and together, we’ve had many spontaneous and thoroughly planned adventures around the globe. Travel has always given me the inspiration to hone my craft in storytelling and photography.
I don’t think there is ever a perfect time to do anything; after putting off the idea of having children for many years, here we are. I’m juggling more things than ever and I’m determined to continue to live life purposely and travel endlessly, whilst trying to be a better leader, mother, wife, sister, daughter, granddaughter, auntie, mentor and friend.
Becoming a mother
Here’s my birth story.
When I first became a mother, I didn’t know there was a term for velcro babies, attachment parenting or even what exclusive breastfeeding or breastfeeding on demand meant. Although I knew to trust my instincts in my approach, discovering these resources have provided so much validation and clarity in times of uncertainty.
Motherhood has consumed me in ways that I never expected. I never thought I’d miss my baby so much when she’s asleep that I’d be looking at photos of her instead of resting. I never thought I’d be physically incapable of concentrating on conversations with anyone else if my baby is at the table because when we’re together, the world stops around us. I was unaware of how powerful hormones would be to sustain breastfeeding for 24 months and counting. I was never prepared for postnatal depletion or for this level of exhaustion and mental fatigue. But when she calls me mama and rubs her little hands on arms with the sweetest smile, I always wonder what I’ve done to deserve her.
More about Jen
Jen is the Managing Director of The Bamboo Garden, an online marketing agency which helps brands to create great content and conversions, and to get noticed by the right people.
She is also the Founding Editor of I Ate My Way Through, one of Australia’s best-known food& travel blogs; founded in 2006! They won Food Blog of the Year at the 2013 Ultrabook Pedestrian Blogster Awards and were #28 in Australia’s Top 50 Influencer Awards 2017.
Jen was a nominee in the Cosmopolitan Fun, Fearless Female Women of the Year awards 2010 and a Rising Star (under 30) finalist in the B&T Women In Media Awards 2014. She was shortlisted in the Telstra Business Women’s Awards 2016.
Jen speaks at events, panels and conferences —
- Presenter: Asian Home Gourmet Kitchen Demonstrations, Chinese New Year Festival, February 2010
- Panelist: Monetising and Professional Blogging, Eat Drink Blog, November 2011
- Panelist: Using Social Media to Boost Covers, FoodService Australia, May 2012
- Panelist: Australian Media Landscape, Visit California Sales and Media Mission, August 2014
- Panelist: Influencers and Online Advocacy, Social Media Week, September 2014
- Speaker: Paranoid Android (The Power of Technology), Vibewire fastBREAK, September 2014
- Speaker: Social Media and Blogger Outreach and Online Marketing Trends, City of Canada Bay Managers Workshop, September 2014
- Panelist: Technology Innovation – Going Global from Australia, Alumni Event, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, University of Sydney, August 2015
- Guest Lecturer: Twitter Seminar on Social Media Campaigns – MECO6936 Social Media Communication, University of Sydney, April 2015, April 2016, March 2017
- Speaker: From Hobby to Business – How to Take Blogging to the Next Level, Tasting Australia, Words To Go, May 2016
- Speaker: 5 tips in 5 slides – Made in Sydney – Local Food & Liquor Legends, General Assembly, September 2016
Growing up, Jen wanted to be a teacher and she managed to intertwine that with her online media career, becoming a unit demonstrator/tutor at the University of Sydney where she had studied.
As a writer and story-teller, she has written for a number of publications including The Coffee Guide, Lifestyle Food and Spark Magazine. She has also written numerous successful award entry submissions for clients across Australia, helping them to become award winners and finalists.
Jen is passionate about giving back and was a business & marketing mentor to refugees at Settlement Services International’s (SSI) Ignite Small Business Start-ups program.
Jen is currently bringing together an accumulation of more than 14 years of online marketing & business expertise and a passion for ethical and sustainable living with the launch of social enterprise, Caring Co.
P.S. This TED Talk really touched me, I think you’ll like it too: