Getting Lost Amongst the Sea Shells | Hawks Nest Getaway

And JUST after we finished up with the Easter long weekend, we were blessed with yet another long weekend due to Anzac day (see the awesome, slightly excessive cookie I baked here).

I was luckily enough to be invited up for a trip to Hawks Nest for the weekend, which is one of my favourite coastal getaways, as it brings back memories of countless holidays I had there as a kid.

It’s just a 2 hour drive from Sydney, and I’ve always had a secret love for the peacefulness of car trips, but I did bring my book The Girl on the Train to help pass the time. Side note on the book: it’s incredible. If you haven’t read it, make sure you do, although beware it’s very addictive and easy to get lost in. Or, take the lazy route and watch the movie, because it’s one of the few films that is as exciting as the book.

We were only up at the holiday house for 3 days, and in that time we grabbed night-time ice creams, went for walks on the beach where I practiced my photography on the seashells, did bike rides, went for ocean swims and did a bunch of bush walks. Below is a pic I snapped on a cycle to Winda Woppa, which I took just as the sun was setting. The scenery was breath-taking, and I really took a moment to soak it all up.

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My favourite day by far was bang in the middle when we took the speedboat out for the day. The best feeling in the world is having a salty ocean breeze dancing on my face and hair, and this was perfect with the sun shining down and warming us up. We sped around the bay admiring the houses and beaches in the Nelson’s Bay area and stopped to grab coffees at a cute little dockside coffee station at midday. We wrapped up the day at Tea Gardens (neighbouring suburb) and sat at a quaint cafe for tea and scones which were delicious.

I had a divine weekend and was a little upset when it was over so quickly. I’m already excited to go back and if you ever get the chance to go to Hawks Nest, it’s the perfect place for a beachside holiday in a location that isn’t too built-up or populated.

xx

 

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Sunshine yellow ~ for the perfect getaway

 

Easter Carrot Cake Cupcakes | Perfect Tea Party

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This easter long weekend I decided to have an Easter Tea Party to celebrate. It was the perfect morning tea to begin the day with close friends and family.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes are the perfect size to enjoy the carrot-cinnamon flavour, without feeling ill off a massive piece of cake. I do my Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Betty Crocker Vanilla Icing (because it really is the tastiest), but they are also delicious with cream cheese icing ← I’ll link my go-to recipe.

I decorated the cupcakes with edible mini wafer flowers (which you can buy at most supermarkets) and complemented the cupcakes with warmed hot cross buns, choccy eggs and Earl Grey Tea. Delicious!

Recipe (makes 6)

You will need:

  • 2/3 cup self-raising flour
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 grated large carrot or 1 grated medium carrot
  • 1 egg

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180˚C, line a cupcake baking tin with patty pans.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking powder in a large bowl and stir.
  3. Slowly mix in carrot and oil
  4. Beat egg in separate bowl and then mix in with all ingredients
  5. Pour mixture in patty pans (about 2/3 full)
  6. Bake for 18 minutes

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Then enjoy!! Happy Easter everybody, hope you have a lovely weekend whether you celebrate it or not 🙂

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Baby Pink – the perfect soft, Easter colour

Do you have something special you do on Easter? Leave a comment – I’d love to chat 🙂

xx

Escaping to Byron Bay on a Whim

For months now my best friend and I have been playing with the idea of doing a sporadic trip away to experience something different from Sydney for a couple of days. So, about a month ago (on a whim) we just thought FUCK it and booked tickets to Byron Bay.

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Byron Bay is a coastal town in Australia and is only an hour flight (or an uncomfortably long 9 hour drive) from Sydney. It’s got beautiful beaches and bushwalks (one to the Byron Lighthouse pictured above) but is also known for its relaxed, hippie vibe and alternative culture – it has lots of vegan destinations, where you can find eco-friendly products.

We wanted to keep the trip pretty cheap since we booked last minute and didn’t have reams of cash to work with. The flights weren’t too cruel to the budget but we tried to be cost effective with accommodation. We stayed in a caravan park, only a 10 minute walk from the centre of town, and were given a sweet little cabin which had a double bed, a stove, microwave, tv, eating area and a small bathroom. Since we didn’t plan to spend that much time in our rooms it was absolutely perfect.

We stayed 7 days, and spent time swimming on the main beach, shopping, buying ice-creams from the local favourite In The Pink (I was a fiend for the chunky MARS icecream), trying restaurants and doing walks along the beach and to some of the look-out points over the ocean:

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On one of the days we took a trip to a highly recommended place called The Farm, which is a community owned farm (that you can take a look around) which uses some of its produce for a great restaurant called the Three Blue Ducks. We made the grand mistake of deciding to walk from Byron to the restaurant (in 33˚C heat I’ll add), which took about 1.5 hours, so by the time we got there we were ravenous and felt like we were going to collapse from dehydration.

Luckily, the restaurant had delicious lunch options and I indulged in sticky pork ribs with lime, and quenched my thirst with hibiscus, elderflower, ginger & tumeric kombucha. We were sitting on wooden benches right in the middle of the farm and had roosters waltzing around our feet as we ate.

A couple of nights we tried Byron’s bars (which have a huge backpacker demographic) and our favourite by far was the Railway Bar. It was very casual (I rocked up wearing flip flops) and had people all ages enjoying a drink together. Some nights we didn’t feel like going out, and instead bought ingredients to make nachos, pasta or burritos, which we would enjoy in bed whilst watching TV.

I also found the Love Byron Bay chocolate ’boutique’, and I’m still deciding if it was an amazing or concerning discovery. After I found out that they sold almost every type of chocolate under the sun (they even had 100% Ecuadorian dark chocolate) I must have spent about AU$15 every day just buying bars of choccy to taste.

All in all we had a wonderful week relaxing and enjoy our time together and we will definitely go back. It was about my fifth time to Byron, and every time I go I discover a whole lot more – I would definitely recommend travelling there if you get the chance!

xx

 

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Dodger blue for an exciting escape

 

Ultimate Homemade Freakshake

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Okay find your stretchy pants and prepare yourself for the treat of the year.

So everyone knows I have a huge choccy obsession, and to satisfy my latest cravings I decided to create the ultimate Freakshake (looks delicious, I know). For those of you who don’t know what a Freakshake is (don’t worry I too only discovered this incredible dessert very recently) it’s basically a thickshake that has added extras to make it completely over the top, and so naturally, even better.

It’s very easy to whip up which makes it the perfect quick treat for a party, special occasion or (in my case) a midnight snack.

You will need:

  • Tiramisu Kit Kat
  • Twix Bar
  • Mini Toblerone
  • Plain regular donuts (you can choose donuts with toppings, but I found this to be too intense and overwhelmingly rich).
  • Vanilla icecream
  • 1 cup full cream milk
  • 2 tbsp Cocoa powder
  • Whipped cream
  • Jumbo party straws
  • Fancy milkshake glass

Method:

  1. Pop three generous scoops of ice cream, the milk and the cocoa powder into a blender, and whip together.
  2. Pour the mixture into the milkshake glass, until about 3/4 full. Fill up the rest of the glass with whipped cream.
  3. Decorate away ~ go crazy poking the choccies into whipped cream.
  4. Slide the donuts onto the straws and pop in (make sure to do this before the straws are in the shake, or as you fiddle it will overflow).
  5. Enjoy!

And it’s as easy as that. There’s your perfect dessert for a cheeky cheat day.

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xx

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A dash of Fuschia perfectly encapsulates this fun-loving recipe

A Day in my Life

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After pushing myself for an hour through a tough gym class (Bodycombat by Les Mills), I set off to the city mall to do some serious Christmas shopping.

My goal today was to buy presents for the main people in my life (Mum, Dad & close friends), and getting all of them under my belt felt like a massive accomplishment. I sifted through dozens of stores throughout the day and finally ended with a mix of presents I am really happy with.

For Mum, I got a satin robe with floral detail and some black cotton placemats/marble coasters to match her dining room. For dad, I got the Gillette gift pack and a new stainless steel kettle because their current one was $7 from Aldi and the plastic is already starting to crack. I also got my best friend two MAC lipsticks (Faux and M.A.C. red) and a satin nightie which I got myself as well so we can match! Satin is a huge favourite of mine at the moment because I just love the silky feel of it against my skin. Even better, the material doesn’t make me overheat on balmy nights considering we are moving into summer here in Australia.

I also had a cheeky treat myself, and bought myself a Belgian waffle at Oliver Brown which was delicious, but I have to say it did feel a little funny just hanging out in the chocolateria alone, amongst couples who were chatting and eating fondue together.

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For lunch I explored a little eatery plaza called ‘Hawker Lane’ which offers a fusion of Asian cuisines. However, feeling a little unadventurous today, I went for my go-to brown rice avocado/salmon sushi roll and some edamame beans. Yum!

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Once I got home I wrapped up all the presents and placed them under the tree. It is starting to look super festive!

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Then, I began to prepare dinner, whilst watching the Netflix movie ‘How to be Single’ which is actually incredibly funny, and I would definitely recommend. It’s also really relatable to my life right now… For dinner, I fried up some homemade falafels and paired them with a light baby spinach salad and some butter chicken. I think I’ll share my butter chicken recipe in a later post. It’s much healthier than the typical restaurant bought butter chicken but still rich with flavour and spice.

dinner-spread

xx

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Lavender for gifts, giving and productivity

Christmassy Gingerbread Truffles

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These are one of the easiest Christmas treats to make, and easily one of the tastiest. All I used was one packet of gingersnaps, half a tub of cream cheese, chocolate sprinkles, icing sugar and cream.

After blending the gingersnaps into a fine powder using my Nutribullet, I added a dollop of cream cheese and kneaded the mixture with my fingers to create a cookie dough texture. Then, still using my hands I created the round little truffle balls and laid them out on a plate. Placing them in the fridge for 15 minutes, I waited for them to cool whilst whisking up a spoon of cream cheese, plain cream and half a spoon of icing sugar into an icing paste. After taking them out the fridge I spread the icing on top and decorated the truffles with the chocolate sprinkles.

This recipe is so easy to whip up quickly for guests, or if you are just craving a christmassy themed treat. It has really settled me into the spirit of the Christmas season. Plus, their small size means you won’t over-indulge when treating yourself to one.

Happy festivities

xx

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Indian red, in anticipation of the XMAS season

 

The Perfect Low Calorie High Satiety Breakfast

Hey guys!

I have been working on this recipe for a while, trying out all different styles of breakfasts (muesli, toast, bacon & eggs, avo on toast, pancakes) to try and find a yummy, low calorie breakfast which is also very filling.

So here it is, the perfect breakfast to fill you up and keep you looking and feeling good:

  • 2 poached eggs cooked in 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 4 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 piece of multi-grain toast
  • Black tea with almond/soy/cows milk (or herbal tea e.g. peppermint)

This meal has healthy carbohydrate in the bread, good fat in the avocado, protein in the eggs, part of your daily dairy requirement in the tea and a touch of flavour with the tomatoes.

Don’t feel guilty about the eggs (if you’ve ever heard anything negative about them), they are one of the healthiest and filling foods you can eat.

To avoid getting tired of having the SAME meal every day (don’t worry it happens to the best of us), mix the meal up by replacing the egg with 50g of fish, such as tuna, trout or cooked salmon. Or, you can try different breads such as wholemeal, rye or sourdough. Or, if you are feeling like a bit more flavour you can add some mushrooms or a small piece of grilled haloumi or tasty cheese. It’s up to you!

The feature image is one I captured this morning when I went out with a friend (Burnt Orange cafe Mosman). I ate about half and then asked for the rest take-away to savour for lunch.

xx