Daily Blog: Christmas Shopping & Curbing Cravings

Friday, 9 December 2016

Thursday 8th December 2016

Most mornings I can walk into CrossFit and immediately judge how the morning is going to go by how the 5.30am class are holding up. We were met by quite a few sarcastic "Have fun!" comments that meant we were in trouble. Luckily one of the other trainers joined our class today, so I had an expert to try and keep up with. She's a total bad-ass, I love having her there as motivation.

Our main circuit for today was: (for time, 20min cut)

3 rounds of *Perish
500m run
3 rounds of Perish
500m run
3 rounds of Perish

*Perish: 7 Thrusters & 7 Burpee Box Jumps 

 I managed to do it in 18.30min, which was better than I thought. I stumbled on the burpees and had to muster all the energy I could to keep going. Luckily my new CrossFit shoes are amazing for running hard, they're so good for extra power in your legs (thanks Reebok!) 

For strength today we moved onto back squats, my favorite! I didn't go for anything too heavy today, although looking back I should probably have tried to do more. My heaviest was 65kgs, so I'm going to aim for 75kgs by the end of the month.

This is why I love my CrossFit squad, they buy me chocolates for my birthday! Could be sabotage, but I'll take it x.

I'm just having proats with lots of fruit for breakfast this morning. Blogmas is keeping me busy, so I need to get working straight away.

I've finally published my tattoo post! This has been something I wanted to write all year, but I had too many plans for more ink to be done. These kinds of posts are one of my favorites to read and now I have mine up! Make sure you check it out.

Body Update:

Being away from the gym has stopped me from obsessing over having all of my target areas perfect. Thanks to CrossFit (and the many lifts I've had to learn/practice) my arms and shoulders have toned up well. I haven't experienced any weight gain and my abs seem to be liking the exercises, especially the Toes To Bar. They would be more impressive if I didn't like eating so much. My legs are the only area that aren't as toned anymore, but I get the feeling that it will change in time.

Time for lunch! The mall is getting crazy with the build up to Christmas. I was so hungry that I just went for the spanikopita. Not the healthiest option, but I can't say no to Greek food.

We're on the hunt for decorations today. Each year my Mum has fun designing her Christmas table setting and she wanted my help finding some pieces. We also managed to find a beautiful crystal butterfly to hang for our dog Jess that we said goodbye to a couple of months ago. After she died, every time my Mum and me went for a run we would always see a Monarch butterfly fly past us. We already have angels on our tree for other family members, so she had to get a special decoration too.

Got our tickets to see Rouge One next week!

Food shopping has been completed and I found my favorite snack! These sweet chili rice cakes are so delicious and really low in calories. Whenever I crave some kind of savory junk food, I just munch on some of these and the cravings go away! They've been out of stock for a few weeks but I finally found them again.

I also picked up some of these Atkins protein bars. I tried one last week and the texture made me think I was just eating a candy bar. I split one of these in thirds then ate the pieces when I felt like I needed a treat.

Time for my afternoon protein hit of an English muffin, vegetarian sausages, and lots of barbecue sauce. This always keeps me full until dinner. I decided that I need more fruit in my day, so I'm having a pear as well. Just ignore the Cadbury elf...

Improvised dinner tonight of a black bean patty, eggs, avocado, and olives on a bed of baby kale.

Look what I got today! I've been dying to watch this again after seeing it in August. I didn't think it was possible to love Will Smith any more, but he's just so awesome as Deadshot. Captain Boomerang is pretty funny too.

I ended up staying awake longer than I should have to finish the movie, but it was totally worth it!

How's your Christmas shopping going?
Steph x.

My Tattoos: Meanings & Why I Get Them

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

I was definitely always destined to have ink on my body at some point. I was fascinated with tattoos as a kid, and in high school I would constantly have doodles or lyrics on written on my arm in marker. It's a wonder that I never got ink poisoning as a fifteen year old (trust me, my teachers were concerned.)

I was sixteen when I got my first ever tattoo done, and I still don't know how my parents agreed to it. I got plenty of the usual "You're going to regret that when you're older" remarks from adults that had never had any ink done themselves. I've always replied politely and laughed them off, mostly because no one can ever understand the deep meaning behind some of them like you do. They're very personal and it's always been my opinion that matters most. It is, after all, my body that we're talking about. My parents always respected that it was my decision and I love them for it.

Not all of my tattoos have incredibly deep meanings, some represent times in my life or hold memories, while having aesthetic appeal at the same time. I have nine in total so far, and will probably be getting more at some point. I completely respect that they aren't for everyone, but I happily show mine off when I can. I always love talking to other people who have had some done. We can relate to one another's pain and there's always a mutual respect that forms between us.

I love getting tattoos because it means I get to have art on my body. It's also my way of documenting times in my life that I can look back on and remember what I went through. I'm gonna be that old lady in the rest home that will make people go, "wow she must have been wild in her day!" I never get worried about what they will look like in the future, they will probably make me smile at remembering my younger days. I can use them to tell my grandchildren stories as well. I'm more likely to regret not getting them done, so whenever I fall in love with an idea, I have to just go for.


The tattoo that started it all! I only just turned sixteen when I flew to Auckland for the concert I had been so desperately waiting for, My Chemical Romance. Fifteen was not a good age for me. At all. When school began that year, we had every adult trying to tell us how important these years were and that it was time to grow up. They put so much pressure on us that I felt lost and ended up getting quite depressed. I had a lot of issues that year, but one thing that pulled me out was MCR. A very wonderful friend of mine at work had introduced me to them and I started blasting their music constantly. It was the only thing making me happy for quite some time and I felt like they saved me in some way. 
Their concert was so memorable and emotional that I wanted to get a tattoo immediately to remember them. I wanted to remember what I had been through and it felt right to get their initials. No one apart from my friends really understood the meaning, which was okay. I can honestly say that almost ten years later I do not regret getting this done. 


Thank you for the venom 
Merci Pour Le Venin 

The meaning for these two is pretty much the same as I described above. I got them about six months after my MCR ankle one. The first line is a song from their second album and the idea behind it always made sense to me. The second line is written on the inside of their very first album and means the same thing, but in french. It was done in my own handwriting, which looking back on I'm really glad we did.


I'll be honest, I saw a photo of this one on Pinterest and just loved the simple geometric design. Sometimes these ideas just stick in my head and I have to see them through. I was twenty-three when I got this and it was how I found the amazing studio I go to now. Each arrow does represent a member of my family (Mum, Dad, brother Josh) because they always keep me flying in the right direction. I got a lot of comments from people asking if I was a Sargent in the army. Nope! It's just a chevron that I thought looked cool.


I've always loved the way that sailors would get tattoos on their journeys around the world, almost like their bodies were journals. They would often get a swallow on one arm at the start of a voyage, then get another swallow on the other arm once they had reached it's end. After going through my quarter life/existential crisis and had come to terms with this thing we call life, I got my swallow done to mark the beginning of my own journey. 


I actually got this feather done at the same time as my swallow, and it did not hurt as much as you'd think. The meaning for this one is simple: It's for the Grandmother I never met, but have always needed. I didn't grow up with affectionate grandparents like a lot of people. My grandfathers were both true Kiwi men in their "I keep my feelings to myself" ways, but I adore them both and admire them for what they've done. My other Nana had a lot of her own issues and so we didn't come into her radar very much. My Mum's mother, however, was just like my loving, caring, family-orientated Aunt that I adore. She died when my Mum was eight, so she missed out on a lot of precious time. My feather is for her and the hopes I will meet her one day. 


My jaguar is by far the biggest tattoo I have and it took three hours to complete. I got it done for my birthday last year, which had been quite an emotional roller-coaster for me. It was my reward for growing stronger as a person and becoming myself. I also grew a fascination with jaguars and after seeing one in the Natural History Museum in Washington D.C, I thought they were the most beautiful animals. I wouldn't recommend a rib tattoo that has straight lines to anyone, but the pain was worth it. This is probably my favorite piece I've had done.


When we went to Hawaii the first time, me and my brother talked about getting a tattoo done there. It had very quickly become our happy place and holds a lot of happy memories for our family. It's my favorite place in the world and I wanted to always remember my time there. I managed to find an incredible artist, Steven Lam, from Working Class Tattoo. He has his own studio and his designs just mirrored what I wanted, like his brilliant line work. I'm still in love with my wave, and the placement is perfect.


My latest addition! I've been dying to get a bicep tattoo done all year and I finally settled on getting a lion's head done. I gave my artist a few simple pictures and he added in all of the amazing details. I got this one done for my Mum. She's become my best friend over the past few years after we've bonded over our running journey. Her star sign is a Leo and she's the one that always inspires me to be better and pushes me to do more. I wouldn't be who I am without her, so a lion with a crown suits her well.

What are your thoughts on tattoos? Do you have/want any?
Steph x.

Daily Blog: Getting My License & Tattoo Care

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Tuesday 6th December 2016

Our CrossFit workout this morning:

Warm-Up: 8min AMRAP
15sec L-Sit Hold 
(hang from bar w/ legs raised)
10m Bear Crawl
10m Backwards Bear Crawl
10 Jumping Squats

METCON for time:
21, 18, 15, 12, 9, 6 (of each)
Over The Bar Burpees
Hang Cleans (19kg)

I think our coach is trying to kill us this week! Yesterday was 100 Kettle bell swings, and today's challenge is 80 burpees. This is where my stamina and endurance from running really kicks in. I managed to finish the round in 16.59min, before the cut off time of 18min. We were all very much dead after that round!

Hang Power Snatch x3
Every minute, one the minute for 12.

I've only done this lift once before and it's a tricky one. I've been told that it will take a lot of practice, and I managed a few good ones in the sets we did. I'm hoping they come up more often so I can get better. One thing I'm trying to work on is not getting frustrated and just concentrating on getting the moves right.

I'm off to get my full license done today, so I'm a bit nervous. I've washed my car and made sure there's no rubbish inside. I'm trying to eat something now (multi-grain toast with peanut butter and banana on top) but I'm struggling because I usually can't eat when I'm anxious.

I DID IT! It was quite an easy test, although I thought I mucked up a few times. Luckily the man taking the test was lovely and I could tell when I did something right. It feels so good to finally have it done. It's my own fault for putting it off for so long. See, it pays off when you do things that scare you.

I'm finally in the mood for some lunch, so I'm going to dig into my meal prep. It's just a simple stir-fry with tofu, brown rice and vegetables in a black bean sauce. I'm also catching up on some Dan & Phil Games! 

Almost forgot my advent calendar today. Is it just me or December going by really quickly?

Tattoo Update: It's healing really well at the moment. There was a bit of swelling the next day, but it's all gone now. That hadn't happened to me before, so I put an ice pack on it and took some ibuprofen. I've also been avoiding wearing long sleeve shirts where I can, or any materials that might irritate the area. Whenever it looks dry, I've been using a little of this Papaw ointment. It's a natural way to heal almost anything and I've used it on all of my recent tattoos. I swear by this stuff!

It wouldn't be a day-in-the-life without some protein waffles! I need to catch up on some nutrition and there's no better way to do that through some oats, eggs, banana, and whey powder. I added chocolate sprinkles to celebrate getting my license. Perfect fuel that I don't have to feel guilty about.

Since Tuesdays are my usual night off work, I had plans for a bulk photo shoot and lots of writing. But I got a call saying they were short on staff and decided to go. On the plus side, it's extra money to get me through Christmas!

Two stir-fries in one day is not how I usually do it, but we needed something easy since I wouldn't be home to cook. This one has extra mushrooms, courgettes, and ginger. I'm also having a cheeky coffee because it may be 8.30pm, but I have so much blog work to do before bed. Don't worry, thanks to my coffee addiction the caffeine wears off quickly.

There's still a bit of my birthday cake left for dessert tonight! I swear this is has gotten more delicious by chilling in the fridge for a few days. Buddy is ready to help me eat it, should there be any leftovers (there wasn't, sorry Bud! He did get to lick the bowl clean.)

It's only 10pm and I am so ready for bed. With the added intensity to our CrossFit workouts, I am getting way more exhausted by the end of the day. There's open games coming up in March that our coach is preparing us all for, which I'm sure we all will thank him for later.

How are you guys liking Blogmas so far?
Steph x.

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