You know me, I’m no wallflower, so when Claire’s asked me if I’d like to play dress up using some of their brightest of the bright brand new hair adornments, I really couldn’t say no. When that trademark lilac packaging landed on my doorstep and I tore into it, I was greeted with so many pretty florals and bright colours that it instantly lifted my hump day mood. I immediately started thinking of ways I could dress them up, bridesmaid’s style!
So, on a slightly damp Tuesday afternoon, Shell and Elbie jumped on a train bound for Reading and we brought our own kind of sunshine to the proceedings! This was such a fun project, and from Shell’s amazing photographs you’d never tell we shot these in my (definitely not very glamorous) kitchen and back garden!
Neon Pop Flower Princess
This was probably my favourite look of the entire shoot. As Elbie was doing my hair and make up, my long-suffering ASOS delivery man (I swear he judges me more and more each time he hands something over) showed up with my latest purchase. I hadn’t planned it but it just happened to perfectly match the coral and pink version of this flower crown. Talk about photo shoot serendipity!
Claire’s actually sent me two of these crowns so I thought it would be fun to double them up and create an all-over flower look. It reminds me of a vintage swimming hat or something!
‘Bloom’ flower crown – £12, Claire’s | Neon skater dress – £65, ASOS
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With today being the international day of love and all, I thought I’d interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to share some of my favourite photos from the short session with had with my friend Emma Case recently. These were taken at one of her London wedding photography workshops.
We’re not really the kind of couple that goes all out on the 14th February. We don’t buy each other gifts and Gareth doesn’t spend £50 on an overpriced bunch of flowers. To me it’s much more special when he comes home on a random day with a £3 bunch of pink carnations from the supermarket because he saw them while he was shopping and thought of me.
Our idea of the perfect date is snuggling on the sofa with a takeaway, a movie and lashings of wine, so that’s probably what we do tonight too. And, after being away from each other for much longer than we expected due to my travel chaos trying to get home from Palm Springs (those extra 48 hours really did make a difference!) just being together today is all that matters.
I was so happy to wake up beside him this morning.
One of my ultimate highlights of my trip to Queensland was snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef. It wasn’t something that I ever thought I’d have the opportunity to experience and I nearly squealed with delight when I found out that it was on our itinerary.
Janneke and I were booked onto a morning Reef Sprinter tour. Our captain Steve was funny, entertaining and the perfect tour guide. The jet sprinter was super fast and it took just 15 minutes to zip from Port Douglas harbour to the Low Isles.
Being one of the wonders of the world and a world heritage site, it’s very restricted in terms of where you can actually snorkel and only a few select tour companies are allowed to pull up in this particular area. This not only protects the delicate environment but means that the area wasn’t overrun with people. In fact there were just 12 others on our boat.
Whenever I travel I always prefer to stay in an apartment or house rather than a hotel. Don’t get me wrong, I love a boutique hotel as much as the next person but you really get a lot more for your money when you go self-catering.
After saying goodbye to the Gold Coast, Gala, Shauna and I hopped on a plane with Celeste from Tourism and Events Queensland, our photographer Janneke Storm and headed up to Cairns. We’d had such an amazing time so far that we weren’t sure how anything was going to top it – oh how wrong we were!
After a short flight we landed in tropical North Queensland and took a car up the coastal road to Port Douglas. As we’d had such a non-stop trip so far I really hadn’t had any time to do any research on where we were staying so needless to say I got the shock of my life when we pulled up here.
We were hosted by Executive Retreats (this is the house we stayed in) who specialise in luxury accommodation in Port Douglas and the surrounding areas. If you’re considering Australia for a honeymoon destination, then you need to put it on your must-visit list. No question.
Not only is it as close to paradise as you can possibly get, but all my favourite activities happened while we were here – snorkelling on the great barrier reef (which I’ll be writing about next week), a sunset boat ride and jungle surfing in the Daintree Rainforest!
Shauna and I shared the master bedroom (it was too good for one of us to have it on our own). The en suite bathroom alone was bigger than my living room at home!
The next adventure on our whistle-stop tour of Queensland was Surfers Paradise. After a quick drive from Dreamworld with our Tourism and Events guide for the day, Jess, we arrived ready for a surf lesson and bike tour!
I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to surfing. Although I love the water I’m not the most athletic of people and the thought of hurling myself into some rather giant and scary looking waves filled me a little with dread.
You can’t really tell from this photo, but that’s a grin that says “OMG are we actually really doing this?!”
The beach was glorious, with the Gold Coast skyline just behind it. As Shauna lounged in the sun, Gala and I headed over to meet our surf teacher, Patrick from Cheyne Horan School of Surf.
Patrick didn’t seem to sense our trepidation (or if he did he definitely ignored it!) and he dived right in to the lesson. He also clearly had much more faith in our abilities than we did because after the briefest of introductions he told us to head out into the waves and give it a go. ARGH!
I glanced at Gala nervously and could sense her thinking the exact same thing as I was “Oh crap, are we actually really doing this?”
When the initial email from Celeste at Tourism and Events Queensland came into The Blogcademy inbox asking us if we’d consider an all-expenses paid trip to Queensland I nearly deleted it, assuming it must be spam. I mean, this kind of opportunity doesn’t exactly come knocking on your door everyday. After verifying that Celeste wasn’t, in fact, just playing a rather cruel prank, we started to plan our epic adventure down under!
Skip forward eight months or so and we were finally there. Celeste and her team had pulled out all the stops and scheduled an action packed five days for us including koala cuddles, surf lessons, boutique hotels and snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef! I’m so excited to share some of my highlights with you guys over the next few weeks. This new Honeymoon Travel Guide feature of mine is working out quite nicely don’t you think?
Queensland isn’t somewhere I’d ever really considered visiting before, but after this trip I can say with the utmost sincerity that I will be going back, only next time I’m bringing Gareth with me – this tropical paradise is just made for lovers!