Lovely Ladies: Nikki Isemonger





If you follow us or like any of our photos on Instagram chances are I’m going to stalk you. That was the case for this Lovely Lady, Nikki Isemonger, and I instantly fell in love with her account. She is so perfectly honest about motherhood and it’s super refreshing. I’ve asked her a few questions about motherhood and again her honesty shines through. If you’ve had a baby you will totally relate, if not it’s a must read to find out what it’s really like.

Nikki Isemonger, 24 years old. Love hanging out with my little family, going to the beach, spamming Instagram with cute pictures of the bebes and baking however I’m not all that good at it!

  1. You recently posted a photo of your stomach post babies, what made you want to do so?

When I found out I was pregnant, more so when we found out that we were having two, I began freaking out about the changes my body was about to go through. I began googling pictures of twin pregnancy tummies and how I would look after they arrived. I used stretch mark oils and moisturisers religiously morning and night. It wasn’t until I got to about 32 weeks that I found my first stretch mark and I FREAKED out. My fiancé, Matt, was so supportive and reminded me of what incredible things my body was doing to accommodate for our two little peanuts, this quickly bought me back down to Earth and made me realise that it’s something to be proud of. So many people I’ve spoken too have said how much they hate their stretch marks and in all honesty I hated mine too but my stretches are an extra little souvenir of what my body went through to bring our two little girls into our lives. I feel like our stretch marks should be something to celebrate rather than hide from the world.

  1. You are very honest in your tales of mother, why do you think it’s important to maintain a sense of humour post birth?

Honestly, if I didn’t laugh about being puked and peed on I think I would go insane!! I was so honest with my friends and family about all the not so fun parts of giving birth and recovering from that, probably to the point that it was too much information but look, you leave all your dignity at the hospital door when you walk in, multiple people see you give birth, fumble your way through breast feeding and if you’re like me change a dirty nappy for the first time so rather than be shy about navigating my way through motherhood I’d rather share the challenges with people so we can all have a giggle about it.

  1. The first few months of motherhood are quite tough, even with one baby to look after, what are some tips you have on getting through those times?

Matt and I are lucky to know no different than life with multiples, the first 3 months were extremely tough, I suffered from Post Natal Depression, Matt plays league so he’s often away every second weekend and Frankie and Harper were preemie babies so feeding was an absolute shambles. I guess what I found that helped was talking to people, being honest about what I was struggling with and allowing friends and family to help when they offered. It’s so easy to shut everyone out which to an extent I’m guilty of however we had some awesome friends offer to make meals and bring them over, my mum practically lived with us for a month to help with night feeds. Friends would come over and cuddle the girls while I had a shower or caught up on some sleep. Say yes when help is offered. It makes such a difference.

  1. There can be a lot of ‘advice’ out there for new mums, did you feel any pressure on how/what to feed your babes and how to care for them?

100%. More so when it came to breast feeding, my midwife, Amanda Tomlinson, was incredible. She was always telling us that this was our journey and we were to do what made us happy, not what makes everyone else happy. My plan was to always breast feed because you know that’s what’s best for your baby and that’s fine but for me, I breast fed for three weeks and I struggled a lot. I was dealing with PND but didn’t want to go on medication for it because a small amount is transferred from mum to baby but I was getting worse and starting to resent motherhood, not ideal. I said to a different midwife that I wanted to formula feed and she insisted that I kept trying because breast milk is what they “should” be on. Needless to say, I didn’t listen and the girls are happily now on formula. You really need to do what suits you, not everyone else. A happy mum is better than a stressed out mum trying to go with the status quo.

  1. Any final words?

Enjoy it, dirty nappies and all!


Lovely Ladies: Lee Belk



I’m a big believer in surrounding your self with good people as their attitudes, outlook on life and way of thinking does influence you. This probably explains why this girl is so damn amazing since we have been friends for 10+ years. Seriously though, this girl is one of my favourite people in this world. I asked her to write a little something for me about how cool she is and being her she couldn’t so another friend has put this piece together for mw to share. Clearly a lot of people think highly of her and it’s not hard to see why.

Lee is a young change-maker: criminal lawyer, legal academic, social justice activist, lifelong student and (more recently) teacher of te reo Māori, and most importantly, ringawera (dish-washer) back home on the marae.

Proudly of Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Whātua, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, and Ngāti Rereahu descent, Lee’s inspiration for pursuing a career in the law came from spending her childhood sitting at the ankles of her koro on the marae and listening to discussions about the challenges and opportunities faced by her whānau and marae communities.

Dial forward twenty years, an undergraduate conjoint degree and Masters degree with Honours, a stint working in community law, a few good protests, countless hui on kaupapa Māori, land, and criminal justice issues, and now Lee is a criminal lawyer working in South Auckland. Here she experiences first hand the challenges faced by Māori going through the criminal justice system. Lee is passionate about transferring her advocacy skills to help reimagine how the system can better respond to the communities it serves.

And although she is a trailblazer in her professional world, Lee still feels most at home out the back on the marae – teatowel in hand. She owes much of her good sense of dress to Maia & Marley who have promised her a line of professional pieces in future.


Love you!

Lovely Ladies: Erina Mackie



Do you have one of those friends who is annoyingly good looking, has amazing style and is too bloody nice? Well, that for me is this girl here, Erina Mackie.

I met Erina a few years ago when we both worked at Wild Pair/Lippy. She is one of the most down-to-earth, genuine people I know and has been so supportive of Maia and Marley from the beginning. Honestly, lots of the things we’ve done wouldn’t have been possible without her. So, thank you gf!

Anyway. Erina wore the India Set to a wedding recently and it looks stunning on her. She is very petite so small girls, don’t be afraid to wear two pieces with a long skirt, the matching print cal actually make you look taller.

A big part of Maia and Marley is the people behind it. This ‘Lovely Ladies’ segment will be where we feature Lovely Ladies who support and inspire us. Can’t wait for you to see who we are featuring next.