Manhattan Bound

It’s starting to sink in.

On Friday I fly out to New York City.

I can’t breathe.

You know those dreams you have growing up, the grand plans you set out for yourself that you never believed would be achievable… going to NYC is one of mine. To me it’s where you go if you want to prove that you’re a somebody. It’s where you give it your best shot. It’s where the competition is. It’s where glory awaits… but that could just be me.

I dreamed to be a photographer… and I am.

I dreamed to photograph models… and I do.

I dreamed to photograph models in NYC… and I will be.

I dreamed to inspire those around me, to make a difference… and I am.

Things like this don’t happen to you overnight, without imagination, hard work or without the support of those who love you. My husband is my biggest and most supportive fan and it kills me a little inside every time he looks at my suitcase half packed on my studio floor, I know how badly he wants to join me. I keep reminding him that there is the chance to go together in August, we’ll just have to keep working hard and saving hard.

Aidan is going to stay with Grandma and Grandpa for a week and he couldn’t be more excited. He knows I’m going on a plane to New York but he doesn’t really understand. I’ve never been away for more than a week and he’s never been with just Grandma and Grandpa for that long so having no real concept of time might just throw him a little bit. I keep telling myself he’ll be fine, he’ll be fine.

On Tuesday morning our beautiful Labrador x Mastiff “Toby” passed away. He was 8 years old and left us in his sleep. It was sudden, completely unexpected and broke me in half. Toby was our first baby, our first pet, he was how we defined ourselves as a family for years. We had so much love to give whilst we were trying to conceive and we gave it all to him. Our other Labrador “Charlie” is grieving as well, his best mate, his whole world, is gone.

We explained to Aidan that Toby had died, we patted his soft fur, wrapped him in a blanket and said our goodbyes. As Steve drove away to take Toby to the Vet Aidan called out “Bye Toby, have fun at work, have a great day, see you soon!” and I had to explain again that Toby was never coming home. He was sad but didn’t cry. Instead he asked to hug Charlie.

Later that evening when I picked up Aidan from daycare I explained that we had to pick up Dadda from work because of the storm, it was too wet for him to walk home. Aidan said “That’s ok we can pick up Toby too, he’s on a plane.”. I took a deep breath to stop the tears and explained again, that Toby was gone and wasn’t coming home.

As I sat in the car I thought, I’m about to take a trip on a plane and this is the longest and furthest I’ll have ever been apart from Aidan. What if Aidan believe’s I’ve died too because I haven’t come home straight away. What if I did die on the plane? What would Steve do? What if Steve and Aidan died on the drive to Mum and Dad’s? Some drunk driver or tired business woman clears them out on the road. How would I get home? How could I not be there with them? How would I breathe without them?

A permanent lump is in my throat and it wont budge. The “What-if’s” are killing me, eating up my daydreams and turning them into nightmares. I should be bouncing on happy rainbow clouds of awesomeness but instead I feel drained and humbled. There is nothing quite like a swift kick of raw, heart wrenching reality to keep you grounded, to keep you grateful.

I’m grateful for the trust and support my fabulous sponsor TS14+ has given me, for without it I wouldn’t be going to New York to be a VIP member of the “Fashion Front” covering Full Figured Fashion Week™ for 10 nights. They’ve helped cover some of the costs of my flights and accommodation and I’m so thankful. They’re helping me make the most out of this fabulous opportunity and I’m determined to give it my all, take each moment as it comes with no regrets… who knows how many heart soaring moments we get in our lives.

This trip isn’t about shopping sales, cocktails and sequin dresses (well actually that’s part of it) but more about realising my dreams. Showing those in the states my true potential. Making viable connections to bring more options (and discounts or at least fair shipping prices) to Australian consumers. To photograph beautiful women strutting their stuff on the streets of Manhattan, women who aren’t in magazines but deserve to be.

I intended for this post to be light, happy and joyful. To share the news about my awesome sponsor and share how excited I am to be going… and I am, extremely so! I just never imagined including the heavier, deeper and more meaningful thoughts that I’ve been dwelling on. It wasn’t in the plan but I guess that’s what happens when you’re a blogger, 90% of the good stuff is spurred on by a lump in the throat.


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      I live on Skype and plan to use it a lot overseas. Aidan uses it to call his grandparents all the time. Thanks for thinking of me sweet x

  1. 3


    good luck, i hope you have a fabulous time!!

    i was so sorry to hear about Toby but find it interesting what you said about how for so long, he was how you defined yourself as a family while you were TTC – Maddy was that for me, she was our second dog but VERY much my baby. She was happy to snuggle and be snuggled, our other dog, a boy, is much more aloof, tho since Maddy died, he’s become more clingy and loving.

    It was obvious when she passed that I was going to be upset but saying goodbye to her, stroking her as the vet put her down in our lounge room on the couch, all my TTC angst and miscarriage hurt & heartache that she always seemed to sense and try to take away from me rushing came back to the surface in a tsunami of grief – she was the child I’ll never have and NO ONE who hasn’t been there, hasn’t struggled to have a child or face life without ever becoming the one thing you want to, will understand what i mean by that but she was and now i don’t have her, or a child and i feel like i’ve been robbed twice!

    oh dear sorry for the ramble, it’s the first time i’ve put all that into words – so thank you for being brave enough to be honest yourself, it enabled me to do the same.


  2. 4


    Oh Dani. I don’t know what to say, this post made me cry. With Toby, I can’t even imagine what you are going through. I know how I feel towards Frodo and I know when the day comes, I’ll be devastated. He is my baby. Having to try to explain it to Aiden would be hard.
    You’ve mentioned to me before about your worries, about the “what ifs”, and while I wish, I wish SO HARD, that we could guarantee everything will be fine, we just have to hope that it will be. Chances are, it will be fine. You will have a fantastic trip, Aiden will have fun at his grandparents. Of course, you will miss both him & Steve, & vise versa, but this trip, it’s an amazing opportunity! Just read the start of this post, look at how far you’ve come!
    You ARE an inspiration, I know that for a fact, because you constantly inspire me, not just with blogging, but with life.

  3. 5


    Such an unexpected start to the day – sitting on the lounge with my “baby” Hugo, crying about Toby……Whilst I am not/have not TTC, I did see how much comfort my sister-in-law’s dogs provided her when she miscarried.
    Have an amazing time in NYC – so jealous……

  4. 6

    stephanie says

    How does it go?… Keep calm and carry on.
    Big trips n changes for us. We can do this. Right? Please convince me too! Love you, yay so much easier for you to visit me :D

  5. 7


    What an incredible post. We are all cheering you on from back home. Go get ’em and don’t let the what ifs hold you back (even though that is way easier to say than do…I know and can relate!)

  6. 8


    Dani, you’re DOING this! It’s only natural to have anxiety about leaving your boys, especially now that you’ve lost Toby.
    But you’re going to Manhattan and it’s going to change your professional life forever. You’re gonna love it and relish in it :) we’re rooting for you from here! xxx

  7. 9


    Oh, Dani, I am so sorry for your loss! Pets are truly family and the loss of them hits as hard or as deeply as the loss of a human, in my experience, anyway.

    Anxiety before such a big trip is natural. Especially when you have so many hopes and dreams invested in them. You don’t have to muffle the anxiety – but see it was a challenge to overcome. You’re going to NYC. It will be amazing. The fact that you are going the way you are is even more amazing – as are the women you will see strut their stuff! This is just the beginning for you, I am sure, so enjoy it!

    I do have to say, I am totally jelly, though. I miss NYC so much that it hurts sometimes x

  8. 11


    A beautiful post Dani, a little sad yes but so full of heart. I just want to hug you, for the bad things and all of the good. Let your heart soar in NYC, life is there to be lived. Toby was lucky to have you for a family, he led the most wonderful life a dog can life. Do the same with yours and show Aidan what that means.

  9. 13


    Dani, firstly, I’m so, SO sorry to hear about Toby :( MASSIVE hugs to you and the family.

    Secondly… I’m *ridiculously* excited for your upcoming adventures! You’re going to have an INCREDIBLE time in New York, and you deserve to enjoy every single delightful second of it xoxo

  10. 14


    Firstly – so sorry to read about Toby. Losing a dog is very hard, especially telling a little one. I had a Toby too – a Curly Coated Retriever who was just beautiful. Sadly he (and our other dog Jazz) died in 2010 – very difficult to cope with.

    But yay for your trip! So excited for you – you made this happen! You followed your dreams :) Brilliant work Dani!

    I’m doing the same in my life – working hard, promoting myself and forging paths to my dreams. I fly to London in 22 days and I am incredibly excited I’ve made this happen. I have people telling me I’m lucky. Yes I am, biut I’m also committed to success.

    I am so proud of you. Can’t wait to read the reports! Have fun xx

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    You are an inspiration to me continually. You are an amazing woman.

    Kids are resilient so I’m, sure there won’t be too many dramas for wee little Aidan.

  12. 17


    Oh Dani what a bittersweet week. So sad about Tobi but so much opportunity ahead. Go fly and follow your dreams. So proud of you x

  13. 18


    Have an amazing brilliant time, embrace it all and breathe it in.
    A bittersweet week, but oh the adventure you are about to have.

    A x

  14. 19

    Mrs Woog says

    I am loving your instagram shots already. You are so, so talented and amazing. Keep soaring Ms Mezz xx

  15. 20


    Oh Dani what an emotional roller coaster you’ve been on! Sincerely sad about your Toby and Sincerely ecstatic that you’re in NYC doing the exact same as what I did last year. Stayed at Affinia, shopped Wholefoods, only wore TS (I’m a TS addict). I’m still raving about TS Toga sandals I wore every second of the month we spent over there (never have my feet been so happy). Now I’m watching and waiting for your every update. Huge wishes that you’re having the very best time Dani … Oh so many tips I want to give you but am sure you’ll find them ;~)

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