Friday, 28 April 2017

FOOD GUIDE: PORT STEPHENS

FOOD GUIDE: PORT STEPHENS

Over my many trips to the Port Stephens area, I have slowly been trying out the different cafes and restaurants around and have decided to do a roundup of some of my all time favourite places to eat in the area.

So let's get started!!





First up is Nice Cafe: We actually found out about this cafe because of some good food reviews online and they were so right. The food is great! Try the pancakes or toasted sandwiches. Really delicious!


The Home Interior: Another great find in Nelson Bay. This cafe is a cross between a homewares and coffee shop which I love since after having your coffee or meal, you can have a browse around upstairs and have a look at the homewares. The first picture in this post was also from when we visited The Home Interior - they've got a nice selection of cakes, so perfect for a morning or afternoon stop-off.



Now - onto the restaurants:

Sandpipers: Located in the heart of Nelson Bay, this restaurant is great for a lovely dinner. And of course it has all the brownie points with that dessert above (sorry haha).

Little Beach Boathouse (not pictured): Overlooking Little Beach, this restaurant and bar has an excellent location and great food as well. It's a little more casual than Sandpipers. We went there for dinner so we didn't get the benefit of the view that much so try lunch to really appreciate that view!

And that's it for my roundup of favourite restaurants in the Port Stephens area. Hope you enjoyed it and let me know if you have any favourite places around the area as I would love to try them out sometime. - catherine x

Friday, 10 March 2017

A FEW PICTURES FROM SHOAL BAY

A FEW PICTURES FROM SHOAL BAY

Today, I'm sharing a few photos from a quick trip away to Shoal Bay late last year. Shoal Bay has quickly become a favourite destination for us to escape the busyness of life and the city. It is located in Port Stephens and is roughly a 3 hour drive up from Sydney. 

We stayed at the Ramada Resort in Shoal Bay as usual. It has a great location since the beach is right across the road from the hotel so it is pretty easy to pop down to the beach as you please. You can also rent a paddleboard / kayak nearby to explore the bay. I always try to make sure that I have time for a quick paddleboarding session since it is so enjoyable and you also get a bit of exercise in. The hotel also has a nice kid-friendly pool with a fountain as well as an indoor lap pool / spa. It is a short drive away from Nelson's Bay which has more shops, restaurants and cafes.

Unfortunately, we didn't take as many pictures as I thought but here are a couple of photos if you'd like to see: 



Apologies for the blurry photo - when I downloaded the photo from my camera to the computer, the image looked quite dull so this is a picture of my camera display screen since the colours looked much nicer and like real life but it is just so blurry and grainy. I tried editing the clear but dull photo but I couldn't seem to replicate the colours in this photo. *sigh* There's still a lot for me to learn in terms of photography...


If you look closely, you can see the moon just on top of the mountain :)



And that's it for my Shoal Bay photos. Stay tuned for some cafe / food recommendations around the Port Stephens area - catherine x

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,

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