Grand Manan Part Two

grandmananparttwoIf you caught my Grand Manan Part One post, you’ve probably realized by now that I have a passionate love for this secluded island on our East Coast. I’ve been going to Grand Manan over the years since I was 18 and headed to university to study marine biology, dying to see whales. I know, I made a huge career pivot in my twenties ;)

It doesn’t matter where life takes me or how old I am, this island still enchants the mermaid soul in me every time and the love for my first post on my trip has been overwhelming!

So without further chit chat, here are my favorite snapshots from the rest of my weekend in Grand Manan!

IMG_4079One of my long standing Grand Manan traditions is to wake up early for a sunrise walk on the beach and to watch the first ferry to the mainland of the day leave the harbor at 7:30am. Saturday morning’s sunrise was particularly stunning.

IMG_3682There are so many beautiful B&Bs and inns on the island, but we’re fans of tradition and always look forward to returning to the charming Surfside Motel located minutes from the ferry and offering the perfect beach for that morning walk along the shore while the boats come and go. We had the chance to meet the new owner this year and as always, the experience was wonderful!

Island tip: On Saturdays, make sure to check out the Farmer’s Market right across the street or visit the church for a delicious breakfast open to island visitors!

IMG_4080one of the beautiful old inns on the island – this one was always my favorite to snap photos of IMG_4081The cliffs at Southern Head are arguably some of the best views on the island and great for spotting whales, porpoises, seals, and even bald eagles flying by! They may not be ideal for those afraid of heights, but believe me when I say, walking along their edge is exhilarating.

IMG_3711the perfect spot to stop and breathe

IMG_4084life on the edge


On your way to Southern Head, you’ll past a sign for Deep Cove on your left (or on the right side of the road if you’re heading North). It may not look like much from the road, but be sure to pull over and take the small trail down to the beach. It’s worth it for the cove which offers the perfect mix of sand & ocean and woods & lake.

IMG_3744On one side – this perfect forrest scene

IMG_4086on the other – waves and rocky coves

IMG_4087beautiful views in Seal Cove

IMG_4088so dystopian

IMG_4089exploring the old wharf

IMG_4090 abandoned fishing shacks

IMG_3802 more exploration of the boarded up shacks

IMG_3804 got beach?

IMG_4091If you’re cruising for antiques or looking for the perfect island crafts, Grand Manan has a number of cute boutiques to shop and artisans to discover. Of the many cool shops we went to, I absolutely loved The Cheeky Magpie – and how great is that name? You can check out all their treasures here.

IMG_4093Of the many harbours in Grand Manan, one of my favourites to always visit is Dark Harbour. Often completely empty, this little harbour is unique in that it’s always a little darker than the rest of the island, thanks to its huge cliffs. The windy road down into the harbour may seem to go on forever, but I promise when you’ve arrived – you’ll understand why this harbour is so enchanting.

IMG_4092 wharf art in dark harbour

IMG_4094 an amazing pan fried haddock dinner at the Compass Rose

One of the things I absolutely love about Grand Manan is their food. Sure, you don’t have any chain restaurants or fast food joints. What you do have is some of the best cooking in the Atlantic – especially if you’re a seafood lover. This was my first time eating at the Compass Rose but I’ll definitely be going back next time!

IMG_4096One of the best spots for sunset viewings on the island? Take Whistle Road (accessible from North Head) all the way to the end where you’ll find the perfect viewing bench and a number of locals any night of the week who’ve come out to catch nature’s show. Bonus: It’s a great place for watching whales and porpoises!

IMG_4097 lighthouse love

IMG_4098We woke up early on our last day to follow in our tradition and watch the 7:30 ferry leave, but we quickly headed up to Swallowtail lighthouse afterwards to see if we could spot some early morning whale action.

Boy, were we in for a treat!

IMG_4099This beautiful Minke whale swam up and down the Swallowtail point for over an hour and a half, giving us quite the show. He was so close, we could hear his blow every time he surfaced! Not to be ignored, we also watched some adorable porpoises trying to upstage the whale. To think you can sit on a bench and watch a whale in its natural habitat for hours – do you see why this place is so magical?

IMG_4102 swallowtail in the morning

IMG_4104 the old north head post office

IMG_4105 one last stroll on the wharf

IMG_4106 in love with this boat

IMG_4107 all the nautical

IMG_4108 east coast mermaid homing beacon

Leaving Grand Manan is never easy, but it’s always comforting to know it’s only a few hours away for another visit again soon. To all of the islanders that made our stay and visit so perfect – thank you for the memories!


If you loved this post, why not share with a friend who can be inspired to visit Grand Manan too! To never miss another post on the blog, make sure to subscribe over on the right! 

Product of the Month

productofthemonth_september2015This month, the product I’m absolutely crushing on is a beauty product that I discovered after watching far too many YouTube celebs talk about their favorite products. Yes, I’m very impressionable like that.

While I love a matte finish when it comes to my makeup, I’ve never been a fan of using foundation over the entirety of my face – no matter how great the color match is. That said, I still want a full, polished glow on my skin that traditionally, only a full face of foundation could provide. Enter Tarte’s BB Cream – available at Sephora.

This super (and I mean super) lightweight formula goes on smooth and covers every inch of my face before I apply my foundation. Then, when I dab some foundation underneath my eyes and on my cheeks, chin, and nose – a quick blend of the minimal amount I’ve applied, coupled with the BB Cream, results in the perfect coverage and the perfect glow.

The best part? On days where I don’t feel like doing my makeup, I’ll just moisturize and add a layer of BB Cream and I’m ready to go! Previously, I swore by tinted moisturizers but I still didn’t find they offered the effortless coverage that BB cream does.

So if you’re looking for great coverage + the magic trick to getting your makeup to stay up – visit your nearest Sephora and hit the Tarte stand! I promise you’ll love the results!


Got a makeup product I need to try? Or any other products you know that I’ll fall in love with? Leave a comment below or tweet me! And don’t forget to subscribe to the blog over there on the right for future Products of the Month, delivered right to your inbox! 


Grand Manan Part One



When trying to combine all of the beautiful shots I took while spending three days on Grand Manan Island (selected from over 500 photos in total) it dawned on me that it was impossible for me to simply do one Grand Manan post.

It is without a doubt, one of my favorite places on the East Coast and quite arguably in the world, and so it only felt right to divide the love into two posts. This is the first.

If you’ve never heard of Grand Manan, it’s a small, remote island in New Brunswick, Canada near the American border and the state of Maine. In fact, it’s so close to the USA that when I was on the southern tip of the island, I lost cell service and was quickly picked up my American cell towers and my time was automaticallyset back by an hour to Eastern time.

Accessible only by air or ferry, you can drive from one end of the island to the other in about 30 minutes. Home to beautiful coves, steep cliffs, and one of the most picturesque lighthouses in Canada, Swallowtail, it doesn’t take much for visitors to see why so many of its residents moved from the mainland to embrace island life.

Here are just a few of the many moments from our first day in Grand Manan.

IMG_3411 One of my favorite parts about visiting Grand Manan is that you still have to take a ferry. The 1.5 ride over is always a treat and if you have a good eye, you can often spot playful porpoises and even whales putting on a show on the sail over!

IMG_3417 mom has her spot and she’s ready to set sail

IMG_4029 in case of emergency

IMG_3420heading out to sea – adventure awaits

IMG_3454first stop – a trip to my favorite (and the only) island cafe

When trying to explain to friends or fellow canadians how remote Grand Manan truly is, I always use the example “It’s so small – there’s no Tim Hortons or Starbucks.” That said, they do have the island cafe which is home to one of the best hazelnut iced lattes I’ve ever had.

IMG_4030 typical island decor leaves me with hearts in my eyes

IMG_4031 lunch at a parisian cafe

We had a wonderful time chatting with the french owner of this cafe and sampling some of the most delicious crepes! If you stop by the Bleu Marie, make sure to check out their bakery and treats!

IMG_3459island life is the life for me

IMG_3466smoked salmon, capers & cream cheese crepe

IMG_3464 the happiest vacationer

IMG_3473 hiking to swallowtail

As I mentioned above, Grand Manan is home to one of Canada’s most famous lighthouses – Swallowtail. Nestled on a northern point of the island, it’s one of the first sights you see from sea when approaching by ferry and it’s well worth the hair raising walk over an old bridge crossing a ravine (after descending a steep set of stairs) to get to the lighthouse. But “fortune favours the brave” and you’re rewarded with the most picturesque panoramic views and if you’re lucky, some pretty epic whale sightings.

IMG_3484 island compass

IMG_3510 herring fishing

IMG_3515 swallowtail lighthouse, ferry heading out to sea – best spot on the island

IMG_4032got fog?

IMG_3530 pettes cove – perfect for catching friendly seals

Grand Manan is home to a number of picture perfect coves around the island. Pettes cove offers a fantastic view of Swallowtail (the bridge over the ravine) and the chance to catch some friendly seals swimming close to shore or sunning on the beach!

IMG_3552 would you mind terribly if i pay with my sand dollar?

IMG_4033 the most stunning old rocks made from petrified trees

IMG_4034 standing on history

IMG_3577 evening stroll on the wharf

IMG_3603 sunset vibes

IMG_3624 chasing the gulls

IMG_3620 sunsets on the dock

IMG_3622 day one on the island – perfection

Make sure to come back Thursday for Grand Manan Part Two to see more ocean views and whales, whales, whales!


Check out this month’s Product of the Month on Wednesday night! Grand Manan Part Two drops on Thursday! To never miss a post – make sure to subscribe to the blog, over there on the right! 

Books in my Beach Bag – The Luckiest Girl Alive


Note: This post is 100% spoiler free.

You guys, I’m SO excited about the last book in my Books in my Beach Bag series for summer 2015.

It’s been an amazing summer and I’ve read some fantastic books in the sun, on some planes, and of course – by the beach. I got the chance to share my love for One More Shot written by one of my favorite humans. And I now get to end the series by forcing all of you to go read one of the most hauntingly perfect books I’ve read since Gone Girl.

The Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll.

Now, let me start by saying that while this book came highly recommended for anyone that loved Gone Girl, if you were in the minority of folks who didn’t like Gone Girl, don’t dismiss this one yet. While there were certain undertones that reminded me of Gillian Flynn  – Jessica Knoll is an insanely talented storyteller that spun a web that I got so caught up in, this book was all I could think about.

Bonus: The author was on Twitter virtually holding me while I flailed, which obviously made the experience even better.

The synopsis:  “As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancé, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve. But Ani has a secret.” via Goodreads.

Ani was one of the most addictively interesting characters I’ve met since Amy Dunne of Gone Girl. You want to be her and you want to strangle her – often at the same time.  She is without a doubt my favorite part of this book and the inside of her mind was one of the craziest places I’ve ever travelled to in a book.

Her secret will keep you guessing until the very end as it all starts to unravel, and while the chapters alternate between past and present, you won’t find yourself struggling to keep the two realities in check.

And that is all I can really say without breaking my spoiler free clause. What I CAN tell you is that this book is the perfect Labor Day read if you’re travelling or planning to spend it by the pool or on the beach. And you should all go order it and read it now, then give Jessica Knoll some love on Twitter!


Hello! I’m still on an island! *waves from the most beautiful east coast island* To follow along in all my Grand Manan adventures this weekend, make sure to follow on Instagram @crystal_catherine and add me on Snapchat: crystalcrichard

The C List


Good morning and a VERY happy Friday to you!

By the time you’re reading this, it’s likely I’ll be on my way to catch a ferry to beautiful Grand Manan island for a girl’s weekend to one of my favorite East Coast destinations with Mamacita.

Grand Manan has always held a special spot in my heart – it’s quaint, it’s magical, it’s one of the best places to unplug and it is all things nautical! I cannot wait to snap some amazing stories, take some beautiful pictures for Instagram and Scenes for the Weekend, and just breathe in some of the freshest Atlantic salty air.

But, for those of you not island bound for the weekend – here are all the links I’m crushing on this week.

  1. Starbucks Launches Summer’s Last Two Frappuccino Flavors (via Refinery29) If you’re a Starbucks lover like myself and a fan of the frappuccinos – this one is for you. How amazing does a Strawberry Shortcake frap sound?
  2. Couple Stick Two Fingers Up At Those Who Ask When They’ll Have A Baby With Newborn Photoshoot Starring Their Puppy (via Yahoo) Someone give these two all the fur children.
  3. 25 Destination Wedding Photos That Will Inspire Your Wanderlust (via Elite Daily) I’m all about the Paris or Hawaii wedding.
  4. A Guy Allegedly Broke Up With His Girlfriend On A Plane Before It Even Took Off (via Buzzfeed) This will be the greatest thing you read all week. I promise.
  5. Calling all newpsies! The real-life Cohen McMansion from The O.C. is for sale (via Entertainment Weekly) So, who wants to give me $6.25M to buy this?

I have a ferry to catch and a vacation to start! Have an amazing weekend AND don’t forget to come back tomorrow for the last Books in my Beach Bag post! You won’t want to miss this one!


I’m going to be snapping up a storm this weekend, so follow along crystalcrichard or follow me on Instagram @crystal_catherine!