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?

AUTUMN STYLE FINDS

AUTUMN STYLE FINDS

[originally posted on 16 April 2016 on cocograceblog.com]

Long time, no blog! I’ve been so busy since uni started with assessments and with just general life that I haven’t had time to sit down and blog. It’s weird though since I always feel more inspired to blog once uni has started but never whilst I am on holidays when I actually have time to do so.

Anyway, we are well and truly in the middle of autumn at the moment and as it is starting to become a little chillier, I've decided to round up a few of my favourite autumn/ winter finds. How nice are the jumpers and cardigans above! They look really cosy and dreamy and the colours / textures are just so lovely.

grey boxy cardigan, orchid collection textured crewneck sweater, marled plaza pullover sweater, grey cloud boucle cardigan


I'm also really into blouses at the moment especially with little decorative details like the ones above since they add a bit more interest to an outfit and are great paired with both jeans and skirts.

pleat front blouse, ruffle blouse



Black boots are a definite winter essential. I’ve ordered and had these black boots delivered already (unfortunately, the quality isn't the best). Also those flats <3 they remind me of the valentino rockstud flats which will forever be on my wishlist.

flats, boots


Embroidery is definitely having a moment right now and I'm loving it! These zara jeans are just so cute with the words 'love always' on the bottom of the pant legs. I can't seem to track them down in Australia but I'm seriously considering diy-ing a pair.

jeans, embroidered top

Anyway, hope you like these finds, what styles are you currently loving?

INTERIOR FINDS

INTERIOR FINDS

[originally posted on 15 February 2016 on cocograceblog.com]

After recently clearing out my bookcase, I've been looking for some new items to style out my shelves with as they are a bit empty at the moment. Whilst trying to work out the best way to decorate a bookcase and looking at colour palettes and all, I have been left feeling super inspired to redecorate my whole room instead (oops!!). At the moment it's a bit mismatched and I would love the room to look more cohesive.

I've been spending quite a bit of time searching for interior inspiration online lately. At the moment, I'm leaning towards a more neutral colour palette with gold / brass details as well as some greenery thrown into the mix (and perhaps a hint of soft pink). I think these colours create a really dreamy, peaceful atmosphere - perfect for a bedroom. However, I still think that I might want to add a bit more colour into the room, maybe by switching to a more brightly coloured rug as in this picture.

Anyway, I've gathered some of my favourite finds whilst searching online and here they all are above. I particularly love the brass hello object, the glass shadow box and I just can't get over how pretty the colours of the hexagon dish are!!

LINKS: Clockwise from top left: round shelving unit, fiddle leaf fig, glass shadow box, rose coloured wire basket, striped planters, cuzco hanging chair, martini side table, moroccan trellis wool shag rug, brass hello word object, hexagon catch all dish, fluffy pillow

SHOAL BAY

SHOAL BAY


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


Last month, my family and I decided to visit Shoal Bay in Port Stephens for a quick getaway before the Christmas rush. We've been here quite a few times already before but we always return because it is so beautiful and it has such a relaxed atmosphere. Here are some photos from our time away, if you'd like to see:


The view from our resort. We had a full ocean view and it was absolutely stunning. I loved just sitting there, watching the sunset every night.


On the edge of the jetty.



We climbed Mount Tomaree: the view from the top was spectacular and definitely worth the walk!! There are lookouts at the summit where you can see all across Shoal Bay as well as Fingal Island which is connected to the main area by the thin sand spit in the above photo.



We spent a fair bit of time swimming and having fun in the resort pool which has a cute little fountain on the side.



We also found some great cafes and restaurants that I would totally recommend:

1. 'Nice' cafe at Nelson Bay: The food was delicious and it also has the cutest menus housed within golden books (children's storybooks). I don't normally have eggs but I had poached eggs with smoked salmon and it was amazing (it even had nasturtium flowers on the top as decoration) and my dad had the pancakes with bacon, maple syrup, icecream and the prettiest sliced food. It sounds like a weird combination but it strangely worked well together. All the dishes were beautifully presented- such a good find!

2. Sandpipers Restaurant: Perfect for a nice dinner out as they have a really nice, curated menu. It is a little more expensive but it is well worth it. We made a booking on the day and we were seated outside on the street. It was still nice since it was quite peaceful out there and it was a cool summer night but it is probably better to make a booking well in advance.

SYDNEY: BARANGAROO

SYDNEY: BARANGAROO

[originally posted on 20 November 2015 on cocograceblog.com]

I had been planning to visit Barangaroo for a while now so when I had some free time the other morning, I decided to head down there to have a look around. Barangaroo is located on the edge of the city and it only recently re-opened this year. There are still parts that are being developed but the open areas have such a lovely, peaceful atmosphere.




You can walk down these sandstone blocks that line the shore to reach the water.


It also has stunning views of the harbour.


Barangaroo is such a peaceful parkland area in the midst of the city. If you are in the area, I would definitely recommend coming here as it would be a perfect place for a picnic and they even have a 'stargazing lawn' which I would imagine as being incredibly beautiful at night.

STRAWBERRY AND BANANA SMOOTHIE BOWL

STRAWBERRY AND BANANA SMOOTHIE BOWL

[originally posted on 30 September 2015 on cocograceblog.com]

With summer approaching, I thought it would be the perfect time to try my hand at making a smoothie bowl. I incorporated strawberries into this recipe as strawberries have really been having a moment recently over here and our fridge has been well stocked with punnets of strawberries for at least the past month.

This smoothie bowl was delicious, super simple to whip up and I love this strawberry + banana combination.


Ingredients
- frozen strawberries
- frozen bananas
- yoghurt
- a splash of juice (alternatively you could use milk)
- honey (optional - if you want to sweeten it up a little)
- toppings: fresh fruit, granola, coconut flakes, nuts, chia seeds - your choice is only limited by your imagination!

Method

1. Add all ingredients into your blender, according to your taste. If you want a thicker smoothie, don't add too much liquid.
2. Blend until smooth.
3. Decorate with toppings (my favourite part).
4. Enjoy!! - that's how easy it is :)

DELICATE JEWELLERY

DELICATE JEWELLERY

[originally posted on 28 Sep 2015 on cocograceblog.com]

As an avid lover of delicate jewellery, I'm so pleased with the emerging popularity of this type of jewellery. There's something so special about these type of pieces - I think it is because they are perfectly understated and are like hidden gems once you notice them. Here are two of my favourite finds so far:

The turquoise triangle necklace above is by mociun. I love the tiny triangle detail and the small pop of colour it brings. It comes in other colours as well - the coral and diamond varieties are beautiful and also seem super versatile.


These kathleen whittaker earrings are my favourite earrings. Normally, I'm not too interested in earrings since I don't have my ears pierced but these caught my eye ever since I first saw them. I've seen similar earrings which are a bit wider in shape but these staple studs remain my favourite since they are just so simple and elegant.

photos from general store
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