Monday, 30 January 2017

SALAMANDER BAY

SALAMANDER BAY

After neglecting this blog for a little too long (seriously though, this is my first post of 2017 and it is nearly February), I've finally sat down on a Sunday afternoon to share some holiday photos that I took on a family trip away to Salamander Bay last September. 

Shoal Bay is usually our go-to destination for a little getaway but since we planned this holiday a little late, we ended up staying in Salamander Bay, a few suburbs away from our usual spot. However, we have since been back to the area, staying in Shoal Bay and photos from that trip will be coming soon on the blog (hopefully!) as well as a short food guide to the area. But for now, here are some photos from this trip to Salamander Bay if you'd like to see:



Even though we stayed in Salamander Bay, we spent most of the time around Nelson Bay and Shoal Bay. Nelson Bay has more shops and food options whereas Shoal Bay is pretty picturesque. The whole place becomes insanely beautiful around sunset though and golden hour is extra magical. 




We stayed at the Oaks Pacific Blue Resort which has this amazing pool/ lagoon feature that goes around the whole resort, with little apartments on both sides of the lagoon. The picture below was taken from our apartment balcony and hopefully will give you a better idea of what it was like since it is a bit difficult to explain unless you actually see it.


You can swim around the whole lagoon if you want but when we tried, it was a bit too cold (because it was still a little cold around that time of the year but in summer, this would be perfect) so we opted to go to the heated lap pool instead.


In terms of activities, it wouldn't be right without a good old trip to the beach (or many trips) and even a bit of paddleboarding if you are up for it. There is usually a place to hire them out around and it is so much fun and good exercise. You can also climb Mt Tomaree if that's your jam. The views are pretty spectacular and you have a great view of the whole area so you can have a little look at the places in the area that you want to explore next. Would definitely recommend if you have time.



Shoal Bay wharf is just my favourite. You'll find people fishing, strolling around and enjoying the view. I've also seen people jumping off the edge into the water but I've never been daring enough to try!


These little flowers are growing along the beach. So pretty!!


And that's it for my photos from this trip away. Stay tuned for more holiday photos and posts to come!! As always, thanks so much for reading - catherine x

Sunday, 25 December 2016

MERRY CHRISTMAS

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Merry Christmas!! Hope you have a wonderful break, filled with much joy, love and laughter (+ a lot of food!) and spent with your family, friends and loved ones. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit my little space on the internet. Sending lots of love <3 - catherine xx

Saturday, 24 December 2016

10 ACTIVITIES + THINGS TO DO TO GET INTO THE FESTIVE SPIRIT

10 ACTIVITIES + THINGS TO DO TO GET INTO THE FESTIVE SPIRIT

We are so so close to Christmas! With all the Christmas decorations, music, shopping and gift wrapping that has been going on, particularly this last week, it has been definitely feeling a lot like Christmas. Even though it is nearly Christmas now, I thought I would compile a list of activities and things to do to get into the festive spirit:

1. Watch a whole heap of Christmas movies, but especially The Holiday (that’s my favourite).

2. Visit a Christmas tree farm.

3. Get those Christmas decorations out and go wild decorating your place. Next year, I’m going to try and coordinate more of a colour scheme so that everything looks slightly more cohesive.

4. DIY your own Christmas wreath. I’m inspired by this and this.

5. Drink a lot of hot chocolate with marshmallows <3

6. Light your favourite Christmas candle. I'm keen to try out the Diptyque Cyprès candle after reading this article.

7. Find the perfect Christmas tea. My favourite was a limited edition and I've been forever on the lookout for another favourite.

8. Listen to Christmas music or watch vlogmas whilst wrapping presents.

9. Go for a drive to find houses decked out in pretty lights. We’ve found a couple of streets where nearly every house is covered in fairylights and it is so beautiful.

10. Or just hang your own fairylights in your house. I’ve hung some over my bed and I love just looking up at the lights at night.

And that’s it for my list. What are some of your favourite things to do to get into the festive spirit? - catherine xx

Saturday, 17 December 2016

MY CHRISTMAS WISHLIST

MY CHRISTMAS WISHLIST
With all the Black Friday and Christmas sales that have been on, I have been doing a lot more online shopping / browsing recently. I thought I’d put together a Christmas wishlist of things that I have been eyeing and would love to have myself. I really enjoyed putting these collages together and all the full names of the products + links are below each pic.

Shop my wishlist (L-R):

1. Skinnydip Rose Gold Earbud Headphones from Urban Outfitters since I currently don’t have a good pair and the rose gold here looks lovely.

2. This watch by Cluse: La Bohème Rose Gold White/Grey looks so beautiful. You can also purchase it from here.

3. I’m in need for new short sleeve pyjamas as my current ones have ripped around the buttons and this linen short sleeve pj set by Fabrik looks like a perfect replacement.

4. Peter Alexander Penny the Wonder Dog Tee – simply because I think that dog print is SO cute. You can also find it here.

5. I have heard so many great things about Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Pop Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed and when I tested it out in-store, it looked incredible so I’d love one of my own.


6. The Illume Boulangerie Jar Candle in Lavender Shortbread looks nothing short of amazing. Also the Angel Food version sounds fab and the Sweet Vanilla and Cinnamon scent seems perfect for the christmas season. Unfortunately, it's a bit tricky to get ahold of this in Australia :(

7. Pretty dinner plates by Anthropologie – Old Havana Dinner Plate.

8. Food52 Fragrant Pod Wreath would be perfect for this festive season.

9. This tea towel by Yao Cheng in the dot watercolour print would be a lovely addition to the kitchen.

10. I love all things Rifle Paper Co and how gorgeous is this 2017 everyday agenda in midnight. The gold foil accents on the cover are beautiful and I would be so happy to carry this around all year.

11. Beautiful rose swirl ring dishes with gold rims from Suite One Studio.



12. How pretty is this globe version of the Petal Multi-Use Oil from Urban Outfitters!!

13. I’ve been looking to make a photobook for the year recently and the ones from Artifact Uprising seem really well designed and beautiful especially the layflat/ hardcover books. Such a nice way to preserve those memories. Unfortunately, I ended up going with another company since Artifact Uprising was a bit expensive with Australian conversion and shipping but I’d love to try it out someday.

14. My obsession with Rifle Paper Co continues… in the form of this kitchen recipe box in citrus floral.

15. A cute art print by Ammiki (Solace print).

16. I love crossbody bags since they are SO functional. I love the shape and simplicity of this design by Sezane (Patti bag). This would be the perfect everyday bag.

17. One last pick from Rifle Paper Co – the everyday 2017 wall calendar in paradise gardens <3


Some more beauty-related items:

18/19. I’ve been on the hunt for a new cleanser and after reading reviews and blogs, I’m keen to try these two: Liz Earle Cleanse& Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser and Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel. The Liz Earle one that I’ve linked is the limited edition sweet orange and clove version which looks particularly festive.

20. Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom and Honey Cologne: I love Jo Malone for fragrances. I’ve already expressed my love for Jo Malone Blackberry and Bay here on the blog and I’ve tested out the Nectarine Blossom and Honey one, which also smells amazing so I’d love to pick one up and maybe try fragrance combining those two scents.

21. I’m not a fan of bright nail polish since although it looks great initially - the chipping can be a nightmare. But I’m totally on board with sheer nail polish and I’ve been eyeing Dior Nail Glow for some time. It gives a subtle but pretty pink sheen to the nails. Low maintenance, totally office appropriate and your nails will just glow and look super healthy.


22. These Terrain Snowflake Marshmallows are the perfect winter-y addition to any hot chocolate.

23. These All Butter Tarocco Orange Biscuits by Crabtree and Evelyn are seriously delicious and I would be so happy if anyone gifted me these. Also the tin is gorgeous - I would probably repurpose it into a tea bag tin once all the biscuits are gone!

24. I’ve been looking for a new camera so that I can take better quality pictures since I mostly use my iphone or the family’s little camera which is better than my phone but still a bit limited. I’ve got my eye on the Olympus Pen e-pl7 which seems like a good camera for me. A newer version has recently come out so hopefully I’ll be able to pick one up once they have dropped a bit in price.

Anyway, that’s it for my Christmas wishlist this year. Hope you enjoyed reading it!!

LIFE LATELY + A FEW LINKS

LIFE LATELY + A FEW LINKS

I'm finally back on this little blog!! A lot has been going on lately (despite the fact that I'm currently on holidays) and although I've had many ideas for blog posts, there really hasn't been any time to plan, execute and publish a post. With a busy christmas and summer coming up, I can't guarantee a lot of posts but I'll try to squeeze in as many as I can and stay tuned for a few christmas posts coming up soon!

Anyway, since I've been away for quite a while now, I thought I would give you a little update of a few things that I have been up to recently.


My church had a girls social where we made our own flower crowns and bouquets. Here is my little bunch I created.


Finally did Bondi to Coogee on what felt like the hottest day ever with some people from my uni biblestudy. It is a lovely walk along the coastline with lots of beaches in between and you don't need to walk through the bush at all. It took us less than 2 hours but we didn't really have too many breaks. If you haven't been, I would definitely recommend it but choose a slightly cooler day and leave a bit of time so that you can stop off by the beaches on the way for a bit and take a lot of pictures!



Currently obsessed with golden hour - the time just after sunrise or just before sunset. The light is just so pretty.


I've got this sampler pack of 10 T2 black flavoured teas and I am currently testing them all out. So far I'm loving the french earl grey and creme brulee ones.


I've been getting in to journaling recently and it has been really relaxing and nice to document memories and things that have happened which I hope to remember in the future.

Also, I picked up the new body shop body washes: frosted berries which is like a nostalgic scent for me and takes me back to yr 10 as well as vanilla chai which smells like a sweet chai latte. so good!!


I've also been away with the family on two occasions recently just for a couple of days, to Salamander Bay and Shoal Bay which are in the Port Stephens area. Planning to share a couple of photos from those trips on the blog soon.

Thanks for reading,

Friday, 9 September 2016

JO MALONE BLACKBERRY AND BAY

JO MALONE BLACKBERRY AND BAY

[originally posted on 8 June 2016 on cocograceblog.com]

I have always been interested in perfume and have always wanted to find a signature scent but I have never really found a fragrance that I could completely get behind since the notes were never quite right. I had almost given up on finding a perfect fragrance but my friends have raved on about Jo Malone and after testing a few out, I can now safely say that I’m a Jo Malone fan. I had always overlooked Jo Malone because of the price point and the fact that they are marketed as colognes but I’ve found that their fragrances are really sophisticated and not at all overpowering or synthetic.

After much indecision and consideration, I decided to finally take the plunge and purchase Blackberry and Bay. It is a fresh scent that I think is perfect for cool, crisp mornings around autumn / winter. Although it seems that warmer fragrances would be the perfect match for the colder months, I have found that I am more inclined to fresher scents for cooler days for some strange reason.

Anyway, I’m no perfume expert but I’ll try to describe Blackberry and Bay the best that I can:

At the shop, I could smell this intense freshness (almost citrus) up front but now I can definitely smell blackberries alongside the green notes. It is quite fresh and clean at this point. At the dry down, the berry dissipates as the scent mellows and warms up a little with a slight hint of bay. Here, I can detect woodiness and earthiness with what others have described as cedar and vetiver notes. Once settled, it is quite comfortable on the skin.

Sillage and Longevity: This is not a very heavy fragrance and I have found that after the dry down, the sillage stays quite close to the skin but I’m completely fine with that. In terms of longevity, I have found that it does last, even more-so than other perfumes that I have tried, even after a shower!! Even though I only use one spritz in the morning, at the end of the day, I can still detect a faint trace of the scent so I’m really pleased with that.

Overall: I would definitely describe this fragrance as fresh, quite clean and fruity as well but not in the typical sense or in the way you might imagine. It’s hard to describe but it is definitely something special in my books. It is a more understated, subtle and discreet scent and it is not overtly feminine (more unisex) so this may not appeal to everyone but definitely test it out if you are near a counter.

I’m really glad that I picked this fragrance up and I’m looking forward to maybe purchasing Nectarine Blossom and Honey when it becomes slightly warmer at the end of the year (and maybe try fragrance combining then?!)


Do you have a favourite fragrance? Are you a fan of Jo Malone as well?

A WEEKEND IN WOLLONGONG

A WEEKEND IN WOLLONGONG

[originally posted on 13 May 2016 on cocograceblog.com]

Earlier this year, my family and I decided to take a trip down to Wollongong for the weekend. I don't think that I have visited Wollongong properly before but it is definitely a place worth checking out. It was a perfect escape from the daily routine and when we returned, I felt so refreshed and ready to take on life. It's amazing how just a few days away can make you feel like that- I'll have to remember to plan little weekend trips away more often!

Anyway, here are some photos if you'd like to see:




Definitely check out Lee & Me for breakfast or lunch. We really enjoyed lunch there - look at those sweet potato fries!!




Upstairs, above the cafe, there is a selection of products on display by Huddle and Co and Floral Pines Design Co that you can buy. Such a great concept to have a cafe/boutique all in one and the goods are just so lovely!




Had to include this picture of the bicycle. I really want one like that - it's so pretty but practically, I have restrained myself from buying one since I know that I won't get much use out of it - but still a girl can dream!


 Breakfast at Aqua Cafe.


We also went to Illawarra Fly to go zip-lining (just under an hour's drive from Wollongong but the road there was so windy and felt so dangerous) which was great fun and my mum also went skydiving (yes, you read that right!) over Wollongong beach which was absolutely crazy.

Such a nice little getaway! Are you planning any trips away anytime soon?
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