Monday Local Mums Anna Durbin and Rachel Zehner

Where and how long have you lived in Sydney’s east:

Anna has grown up in Sydney’s east, between Vaucluse and Paddington, with a short stint in London. Rachel is from a small town in Maine, USA. She has been living in Sydney for the last 13 years; enjoying Coogee, Randwick, Vaucluse and very soon Paddington. We’re working together in Bellevue Hill which has been fabulous as we’re getting to know another community. The locals have been so warm and welcoming. We’ve known each other for about 20 years but our friendship has really grown since living in the same city and now of course embarking on a business together.

How many children:

Between our two families we have five children ranging from 13 years down to 7 years. They’ve all been good mates since babies and are now enjoying this new connection between our families as it means spending more time together.

Favourite Park:

Rachel and her crew are always hanging with their dog Lola at Christison Park or Lyne Park because of the off lead zones and great water views. There’s something for all of Anna’s family at Centennial Park. We’ve enjoyed so many occasions there & spent many years joining in the Parklands children’s activities.

Favourite Beach:

Rachel’s tribe like Bondi for surfing best but she thinks chilling at Camp Cove is pretty special. Shark Beach is an absolute favourite for Anna and her family. We often meet friends there on a Friday afternoon in Summer and stay for a picnic dinner. That beautiful weather is upon us soon, it can’t come quickly enough!

Favourite kid friendly cafe:

Anna’s little family have always loved the café in Rushcutters Bay Park. Everyone is happy there. Room to move & play plus all that banana bread my kids seem to consume. As long as the menu has bacon and milkshakes Rachel’s kiddos are happy in any café… anytime Rachel isn’t cooking she’s happy with the choice.

Favourite Coffee Spot:

Rachel is one of the very few non-coffee drinking people on the planet! Anna loves a particular blend of coffee which she can get at Alimentari in Paddington, Blip in Bellevue Hill & Rocco in Vaucluse.

Favourite Local Day Out Activity:

Beach, beach, beach for Anna! Rachel loves a good Aussie barbeque with friends.

Favourite Local Shop:

Ooohhh for Anna it’s LoveDuck in Five Ways, always a fab dress in there! Rachel has a sweet tooth so there’s always a delicious chocolate to be purchased at Perfection in Rose Bay.

Favourite wet weather location:

For Anna inside a café eating! The sounds and sight of rain falling are beautiful. Just keep me out of the wind. Rachel thinks wet weather is the perfect time to catch a film, either at home or any of the local movie theatres. She loves the charm of the Randwick Ritz, but the comfort of the seats at Hoyts Eastgardens is hard to pass up.

Describe an ideal day in Sydney’s eastern suburbs for you?

Mooching for Anna and her family – just about anywhere. It’s always good to just slow down. We always have way too many commitments. Rachel loves the walk between Bondi & Coogee with a big brunch at the end… anytime that can be squeezed in it’s a great day.

What area of the east have you yet to explore much but would like to?

Sydney’s coast is so alluring for Anna. Exploring the walks & climbing the rocks. The sounds & sea air are so rejuvenating. Rachel is looking forward to exploring the eclectic nooks of Paddington.

Work or SAHM:

Currently we’re working mums, juggling our families and our new store, Cicada & Co., on Bellevue Rd. We opened the gift shop & workshop zone just a few weeks ago. Being a partnership it allows us to step away from time to time. Although at the moment every moment is ticking something off our to-do list!

Motherly advice :

For Anna and her family it’s trying to prioritise sleep, so important for all of us. We’re not so good at it though, it seems we don’t want to miss out on the fun!

Rachel’s family functions better when routines are kept and boundaries are set. It’s really hard to be consistent when there’s so many pieces but having a plan (with some flexibility) can work brilliantly if you’re all on the same page.


T: 02 9046 9197

A: Shop 2A, 19 – 21 Bellevue Road, Bellevue Hill 2023, NSW