Spring Awakening in Noosa

Spring awakening in Noosa - www.stephstrays.com

I love winter for the snow, the skiing and the layering up beneath a big coat. I love summer for the warmth, the long days and the delicious mangoes. But my favourite is spring, the season that manages to encompass the best elements of both winter and summer. I spent last weekend in Noosa, on the Sunshine Coast (it’s in Australia, if you weren’t aware), where spring has definitely sprung. As has the sunburn on the backs of my legs…

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Sparkling Rose & Blood Orange Cocktail

Sparkling rose & blood orange cocktail - www.stephstrays.com

The arrival of spring not only means longer, warmer days, it also marks the start of day-drinking season. Lazing about in the sunshine with a refreshingly icy-cold drink, racing to gulp it down before the ice melts. Last weekend, I picked up some gorgeous blood oranges from the markets and celebrated the first official weekend of spring with this sparkling rose and blood orange cocktail.

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The Perfect Boyfriend (Jeans)

The perfect boyfriend (jeans) - www.stephstrays.com

I know I’m picky. Like so many girls, I have a bunch of criteria in my head that make up my idea of the perfect boyfriend. I had almost identical criteria in mind when hunting for the perfect pair of boyfriend jeans a few weeks ago – good looking, comfortable, soft, not too rough around the edges, flattering… and the list goes on. After trying on what felt like hundreds of pairs, I began to think that maybe what I was looking for didn’t exist.

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6 Tips for the Perfect Flat Lay Photo

6 tips for the perfect flat lay photo - www.stephstrays.com

Flat lay photos have become a bit of a thing on Instagram lately. Every man and his dog seems to have attempted one – just search #flatlay and over 40,000 photos will pop up. But for every good flat lay photo there are at least 5 that have bad lighting, bad layout or are simply just bad. I’m no expert by any means, but I thought I would share with you a few tips I’ve picked up along the way.

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The city of sails and storm clouds

The city of sails and storm clouds - www.stephstrays.com

I recently spent 4 jam-packed days in Auckland, a.k.a. the City of Sails, my former stomping ground. Despite the dreary weather, I spent some time wandering around doing touristy things – and ate a lot of good food in the process. If you haven’t visited before, I suggest putting it on your travel bucket list, as there is no other city quite like it.

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Raw avocado chocolate mousse

Raw avocado chocolate mousse - www.stephstrays.com

A.k.a. the day I painted my mother’s white kitchen brown. I’m in Auckland for a few days visiting my parents and the weather has been ever so gloomy, so I decided to bake up a storm. Quite literally – except it rained chocolate, and the only storm clouds were the ones in mum’s glare as I covered every surface of her pristine kitchen in chocolatey goo.

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Low-carb Bliss Balls with Hazelnuts and Cacao

Low-carb Bliss Balls with Hazelnuts and Cacao - www.stephstrays.com I’m making a bit of an effort to be healthy at the moment. By “healthy”, I mean I’ve replaced my Nutella-straight-out-the-jar habit with a raw-hazelnut-and-cacao-straight-out-the-jar habit, and on Mondays I wake myself up at the ungodly hour of 5am to perfect my burpee technique, whilst pretending the aroma of fresh bacon wafting over from Cliffs Cafe doesn’t tempt me in the slightest.

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