The Self Love Tag

Sunday, 13 August 2017




Hello, my name is Steph and I love myself. 

It seems almost weird to type that out, only because it's not a phrase you come across often. 
And I don't like that. Let's agree to say it more.

Learning to love yourself takes time, life-experience, and a lot of bravery. But as someone who has made it through to the other side of self-discovery, I can tell you that it is the best thing you will every learn to do. You'll approach everything in life differently and those doubts you used to have don't spoil your fun. You find a lot of peace and your relationships become so much more natural. Self-love is worth the fight through bad days, and I can't explain how great it feels.

When I came across this tag on foodandotherloves blog, I knew I had to answer the questions immediately. I love doing these tags!



1. What is something that is getting you down at the moment?
I'm trying to step out of my comfort zone and do more "adult things" and sometimes I lose a little confidence about whether I can handle it. Of course I know I'll be fine, but it's still scary sometimes.


2. What is something that makes you happy?
Usually I would say dogs or food, but I'm gonna go out of the box here and say looking forward to something. Lately it's been our holiday in Hawaii and then moving into a flat with the BF later in the year. I love having exciting plans for the future, it always makes me work harder and not ever get complacent.


3. Name 3 guilty pleasures.
Spending hours on Pinterest pinning and planning future events definitely comes to mind. It's like making a beautiful mood board for my favorite things and it's oddly satisfying to pin pictures. Kinder chocolate is on the list too. It was a treasured childhood favorite that has never gone away! I still buy Kinder Surprise Eggs when I fill up my car at the petrol station sometimes. My new guilty pleasure has been putting whipped cream on top of an Oreo before I eat it. So good!


4. What is something about yourself that you would like to improve on? 
I think I would like to understand myself better. Sometimes I get emotional over something and I have no idea why. My brain is a funny thing sometimes, so I need to get better at reading it and having more control. It'll help people around me too!


5. When was the last time you belly laughed?
It was definitely a few weeks back when I was hanging out with Steve. I think one of us (probably me) did something embarrassing, but instead of it getting weird we just crack up laughing at each other. I love that I can do that with him, it's the best kind of relationship.


6. What is your biggest insecurity and fear?
Failure 100%. I don't want to look back on my life knowing I disappointed people or never did anything worthwhile. I'm really hard on myself when I make mistakes, whether it's at work or CrossFit. I don't like thinking I can't do something or remain unsuccessful. It definitely drives me to be better and learn from when I do fail.


7. Name a song that always cheers you up when you're down.
Love Myself by Hailee Steinfeld never fails me. It's really fun and upbeat, I've blasted it in the car more times than I can remember.


8. Name 3 things you like about yourself.
1) I'm a pretty good cook. I like food a lot, so it's a good skill to have.
2) My creativity. Writing, photography, drawing, painting, I love my imagination.
3) When I turn into a badass at CrossFit. I like who I am when I'm pushing myself through hard work.


9. What is an achievement that has made you proud of yourself this year?
Coming third at our in-house CrossFit competition was an amazing moment. I felt confident that day, and with all of my progress leading up to it. Getting on that podium was a big deal for me and it made all of that hard work I'd been putting in worth it. I'm far from where I want to be, but I was so damn proud of how I performed that day.


10. Tell us your happiest memory.

There's not any one single moment that comes to mind really, more like a dozen of the happiest times. Like camping with my family and having a bonfire on the beach with marshmallows. Graduating university and seeing my parents proud of me. Running around Hogsmeade Village at Universal Studios and letting my inner ten-year old live her dream. And being in my favorite restaurant with Steve when he said the L word for the first time <3


I hope you enjoyed this tag! Feel free to copy and paste the questions to try it yourself.
Let me know if you do, because I would love to read your answers!
Steph x. 



Hawaii Food Diary: Where To Eat In Waikiki

Wednesday, 9 August 2017


Aloha!
You guys ready for another food diary? I LOVE doing these while I'm on holiday. It combines my love of food, exploring, and constantly taking photos of the plates in front of me. I've found some incredible places on this trip and I can't wait to share each of them with you. Food is such an important part of any holiday experience and it allows you to explore a new location in a totally new way. This time in Hawaii we have gone back to some old favorites, while also spending more time hunting out the best spots to eat at. Here's the start of my Hawaiian food series:




Breakfast
We always choose to rent apartments when we travel for a few reasons. One being that it's much cheaper, two because the location is often better, and three being that they usually come with a kitchen. Making your own breakfast while on vacation is actually pretty good! I get the comfort of having my oats and you get to try the fresh fruit while you're here. By the way, Hawaiian bananas are the best! They're so sweet and delicious. Plus we got 2 big punnets of strawberries for $7, which is unheard of at home. So good starting my with something familiar and healthy (just in case I get tempted later!)






Kona Coffee Purveyors
Time for a stop at our favorite coffee house! If you like a good cup of strong Hawaiian coffee that is treated so beautifully, then Kona is for you. Not only that, as we walking in the scent of freshly baked croissants hit us and we instantly went to the cabinet to see what they had. I started with a cold brew drink (so good) then Steve and I shared two flavored croissants: pineapple & coconut, chocolate & banana. Both were amazing and just the treat we needed after a sweaty run. 





Waikiki Beachside Bistro 
We have walked past this place so many times, not realizing that it was a hidden gem. After having some fun in the water, we all got peckish and decided to try the burger joint on the corner. If you're swimming on the main part of Waikiki beach, it's right behind the lifeguard station. They serve lighter meals as well as plates that make you wanna dig in. Everyone loved their burgers and the onion ring were some of the best I've had. My lunch was the blacked "catch of the day" plate, which was so filling and delicious. It was fresh and just what I needed to recharge on a hot day. Don't overlook this place because they know their way around a grill. 







Leonard's Bakery 
When you're scrolling food blogs to see where to eat in Hawaii they all mention the same place: Leonard's. It looks just like a humble, and fun, bakery, and all of their famous malasadas are made fresh. Ours came out piping hot, but we were too busy drooling over them to wait until they were cool. Let me tell you, they lived up to the hype! Slightly crispy on the outside with a delicious churro-like taste to the centre. If I hadn't eaten so much at lunch I would be going back in for seconds! They only cost $1.25 each but we bought a dozen of them because we knew we would want more later. This place does get busy, so try be there in the late afternoon to beat the crowds. 







International Market-Place, The Street
This is a relatively new part of the Waikiki scene (opened in May) but we quickly found it to be a favorite. At the canal end of the mall, you'll find an eatery tucked away that's full of glorious food options! You can get ribs, pizza, tacos, cocktails, shaved ice, acai bowls, burgers, and the one I went for, ramen. I felt like something on the healthier side and I can't turn down garlic prawns. The mushrooms that came with it were very tasty as well, I would definitely go back. With so many options to choose from, the Street is such a great option if you're traveling with a group. I'm going back for the tacos! 


I hope you enjoyed this day of eating in Waikiki. I'll be trying a lot more places and will get back to you with the best ones. Sorry if this post makes you hungry, but I can't help sharing all of the amazing foods this place has to offer.

Until next time, Steph x.
                                                

365 Days Of Happiness: July

Friday, 4 August 2017




Did anyone else blink and July was just...gone?
Not that I'm complaining, it means August has come quick and that means it's time for my vacation!
Hawaii (and lots of travel blogs) here I come.

My training this month has gone really well and I'm feeling better than ever. My coach has updated our training again, which has meant that we've had some awesome workouts. You never know what you're gonna get with CrossFit, so it makes every morning different.

Our family has been looking after some dogs for friends and relatives this month too. We have loved having furry faces around the house and jumping all over us when we got home. It definitely reassures me that we are going to need a pooch in our lives again very soon. 

It's still fun looking back through all of my memories from the month, and even though there were some days where it was hard to find something happy, this project still makes me think of the positives at the end of the day.
Enough rambling, here's what happened in July!




1. Got a fresh hair cut today and it's made me feel like a new woman. 

2. Had a nice lunch catch-up with some close friends. Lots of carbs and chatting!

3. Work was very pleasant today (always a victory.) Then I spent the rest of the day blogging and cooking yummy food. 





4. Made the best smoothie with mango and strawberries. 

5. Enjoying our last few days dog-sitting Lilly and Rosie.

6. CrossFit went well this morning with my snatch lifts actually clicking for once. Was nice not struggling for once. 

7. It was hamburger day at the cafe, so I got to make them all! Best part of the job.




8. Pizza party Saturday Night & went to see Spider-Man: Homecoming & loved it!

9. Got to spend some time blogging today, then made bangers and mash for dinner (both vegetarian and normal)

10. There's nothing like lifting heavy in the morning with awesome people. 

11. We did snatch balance lifts this morning, which were awesome for my over-head strength. 

12. After struggling for months to be able to kick into a handstand, I finally conquered my fears and did it! I also smashed the workout and my coach was so proud he gave me a hug. 

13. Finally back at one of my favorite coffee shops for lunch. I finally got to try their rice paper rolls, and their peanut sauce is insane!

14. Came home from work to house-sit for our friends. We are renting her home in October, so it's great to experience it properly!

15. Dinner with the CrossFit fam at a steak-house. Not so great for vegetarian me, but they had an all you can eat salad bar! And deep-fried banana balls in cinnamon sugar :p

16. Was soooo nice waking up with the house to ourselves. It's our last day house-sitting and we don't want to leave! Must be a good sign. 

17. Had a nice/easy day at work then went off to CF for double DT! It's a famous workout made legendary by the CrossFit Games. I felt really strong today, so I'm happy with my progress. 

18. 10kg PR on my clean & jerk lift today! About time too. 

19. Not feeling well today, so it's a rest day for me. I went and did a nice little food shop, which is officially one of my favorite things to do. 




20. Yummy lunch with Mum then I went bargain hunting at a charity shop. I got so much stuff that we need for $11!

21. Today's workout was a 10km row in pairs. Me and Mel did awesome! Kept a great pace the whole time and we even got to watch Fittest on Earth on Netflix while we rowed. Best motivation ever!

22. Finally got my Saturday sleep-in, tried the new menu at Uncommon Cafe, and saw Dunkirk!





23. Made croissants for breakfast and did a marathon of Friends (season one.) I made my first ever bacon and egg pie for Steve! Such a kiwi classic. 

24. Steve's been teaching me how to play the card game Crib. I'm really getting into it now :)

25. Had the afternoon free, so I went into super-productive mode! I cleared junk from my wardrobe, glory-box, & shelves, then packed up all the kitchen things I've been collecting, and I even started packing for our holiday next week. Feels good to get my to-do list checked off. 

26. Did a crazy "death by burpee" ladder workout today (with back squats, shoulder press, and deadlifts in between) and somehow wound up being the last one standing! I also got a text saying I got paid a tax refund of $800. It couldn't be better timing for our holiday!




27.  Cheeky McDonald's run with Steve to end a good day. I tried their lamington shake and it was amazing!

28. Feeling incredibly tired today. but I was fortunate enough to get the night off work. I cooked some easy fajitas and chilled with Steve.

29. Made some epic nachos for me and Steve on this Saturday night. Mine is never complete unless I have a mountain of sour cream on top!

30. Protein pancakes for breakfast then we were off on a shopping adventure to find some trail running shoes (mission: successful) Later in the night we went out for a friend's birthday dinner and ate our body weight in Italian food. So full, but it was so worth it. I had the most epic food coma!

31. Feeling confident in myself. Was a domestic goddess and made a yummy dinner for us, then did my best at CrossFit to work hard on my snatch lifts. Practice makes perfect!






July was great, but I know August is going to be even better!
Tell me something happy from your day today.
Steph x.



Recovery In A Can: FitAid Review

Tuesday, 25 July 2017







I'm not usually one for sports drinks, seeing as they usually have a high sugar content and full of other bad stuff. But in the world of CrossFit, it's all about balancing hard work with a healthy lifestyle and there are lots of products around to support that. FitAid is one of the most well-known brands and I've been dying to try it for quite some time now. Thankfully my awesome coach decided to stock a mini-fridge at our box for us, so why not tell you guys what I think! 
(I mean, for my coach to stock these drinks at our gym and encourage us to grab a can after class, they must be good for us.)

The idea behind FitAid is all about recovery; it's similar to drinking BCAAs (amino) after a workout. They have created blends for whatever your body needs: immunity, focus, performance and they've even brought out fuel protein pouches. The best part is, you just feel like you're drinking something fizzy!


FitAid

This citrus flavored drink is super-refreshing after a sweaty workout, or a tough strength session. It usually gets to Friday when I grab one of these for myself. My body is feeling the week of training hard and I know that it need something extra to help it heal. I love that it's a natural drink, filled with lots of vitamins and supplements you would normally reach for (glutamine, electrolytes, turmeric.) On the days that I have a can of FitAid, my body definitely feels the difference. 




Life Aid: Thrive

This can is PACKED with nutrients to aid in recovery. Magnesium, turmeric, rosemary, Vitamin C, ginger, and even cayenne pepper to give it an extra spice kick. On the day that I reached for this one I was very run down and had caught a bug from my Mum. I was craving a Sprite (as you do when you're sick) but I opened one of these instead, knowing it would do me some good. And I was totally right! Talk about blasting your system. I could definitely feel myself recovering and loved it from the very first sip. It's probably not for everyone, but if you love your spices then you need this in your life.

This post isn't sponsored by FitAid, I'm just very satisfied with their products!
If you ever come across this brand I highly recommend you treat yourself to a can of goodness. It goes perfectly with an active lifestyle and can give you a much needed pick-me-up.

What products help you recover from a sore body?
Steph x.



Ten Reasons I Can't Wait To Have My Own Home

Saturday, 15 July 2017




You're all probably sick of me talking about moving out by now, but it's on my mind a lot so I'm gonna talk about it anyway. Because now it's only three more months until I'm jumping into the adult world! It's scary, exciting, and oh so overdue. 

October is the month and it could not come soon enough. I know I'll hate paying rent every week and making sure I keep up with the cleaning, but I'm here to tell you that the pros will definitely out-weigh any cons. At the age of 25, I'm VERY ready to take the next step and move in with my boyfriend.





#1 Freedom

The thing about sharing a flat or home that's not yours, is that you always come second. To use the lounge, the kitchen, the shower, even where you park your car. Don't get me wrong, I'm fine with sharing and respecting the space of others, especially if they own it. After 25 years of sharing, I am more than ready to have the freedom that comes with my own space. I'll still be sharing everything with Steve, but if I wanna get up on a Sunday and make pancakes, or get ready for work at 6am at home rather than there, then I can. I feel very restricted in my current situation and it's something I've been struggling with. Soon I will be free! 


#2 Have Fun Styling A New Space

How many times have you watched a Zoella vlog where she was shopping for home-wares or you just notice cute details in the background of her flat? Yeah, me too. I never thought I would get so into interior design until the possibility of having my own space to do whatever I want. I've been spending a lot of time on Pinterest getting ideas and collecting items to use. Can't wait until I can put it all together! And yes, I will be looking at Zoe's new house for inspo.



#3 Get A Dog!

It's no lie that I'm obsessed with dogs and have always wanted one of my own. We have always had family dogs, but sadly we lost our two Springer Spaniels, one in November and one at the start of June. To say that our house is quiet now is an understatement. But since I should be moving out in October (and into a pet-friendly flat) I will get to pick out my own pup! Dogs make me so happy, and can be my therapy on anxious days.


#4 Not Carrying 20 Million Bags

You know when you have to stay at the boyfriend's house, even just overnight, and you end up bringing bags upon bags with you? Yeah, I'm really getting over that. I have to bring my duffel bag with clothes, laptop, food bag, backpack, and tote bag with a few extras. It's great weight training getting it all from the car in one trip, but I have lost a few belongings along the way! It will be a relief to have everything settled in one spot.


#5 Weekend Baking

Wow I haven't been able to bake on the weekends in so long! Nowadays I spend my afternoons chilling with Steve, watching him play sports, or even covering for people at work. I would feel guilty taking up someone else's kitchen, so I never plan to do any baking these days. I would love to try out all the amazing cookies and desserts I save on Pinterest, and I'll finally have the chance with my own kitchen. You guys would get a lot more recipe posts too!


#6 Get My Adult Card

There can be a lot of pressure when you see other people your age being successful and moving forward in their lives. They're buying homes and starting businesses. And even though they all tell me to stay at home as long as possible to save money, it's time I gain some adult experience too. I'm still far from actually purchasing my own home, but renting (and getting a dog!) is a great first step. 100% ready to take on responsibilities that come with it.


#7 Home-Ware Shopping

I think I always knew this would become a hobby one day. My Mum has always loved decorating and it has definitely rubbed off on me over the years. I've been waiting for the chance to decorate my own house to suit my tastes, and luckily Steve is letting me have fun with it. Even shopping for new mugs is enough to put me in a good mood.


#8 Enjoy Chilling In A Living Room

Sounds simple enough, right? But you never realize how much it's not an option when you flat with other people. Take a typical Sunday: I sleep in until about 9am, get out of bed, put my dressing gown on and make my first cup of coffee for the day. I have to be quiet as to not wake anyone else, then go back to Steve's room where I sit on my phone until we want breakfast, which I have to make quickly in case someone needs the kitchen. It's becoming a sad dream of mine to simply enjoy my coffee with some TV, make breakfast whenever I want, and chill out on the couch without worrying about annoying others. And eating meals on your bed every time gets old.


#9 Game Nights and Themed Dinners

I'm not exactly the most social person you will ever meet, but after watching so many sitcoms it would be fun to have friends over. I'm thinking a Star Wars game night (monopoly & trivia) pizza/movie night, and Mexican food night complete with churros. It would even be fun to have a little Christmas party with hot chocolate and our favorite movies!


#10 I Get To Spend More Time With My Favorite Person

Probably the most important reason of all. Both of us get busy with life during the week, and it can be hard to see each other. It even gets tedious driving home at 10.30pm when I'm tired from a long day and just want to curl up in bed. But if we're living together, life will be a lot simpler. I can cook for him everyday, wake up together, and coming home from work will be a lot nicer. I so can't wait!



I would love to know if you guys have any tips for first-time flatting, or if you're like me and want you own space.
Steph x.



Animal Instagram Accounts I Adore!

Friday, 7 July 2017




I have to admit that when I fell back in love with Instagram, finding the right accounts to follow was what made all the difference. Most of the time it's food pictures from cafes around the world, or my favorite athletes in lifting videos. But then I dove into the magical genre of pet accounts and discovered a whole new way to enjoy the app. 

You all know what a massive animal lover I am, and I honestly find scrolling through these accounts so relaxing. They just make me happy! And yes, when I get my first dog they will have their own Instagram to show off their cuteness. 




Winnie, Finn and Teddy are the most adorable little Wiener family. Whenever I see their Mom post an Instagram story I have to check it out immediately because I know it's going to be good. They get up to lots of mischief and know how to rock bow ties. I can't resist their little faces!





Have you ever seen a prettier cat in your life? I grew up with a Persian/Chinchilla, so these kinds of cats always make my heart melt. And just look at those eyes! She could get away with anything. 





There are a few dog breeds that I am obsessed with, and French Bull-Dogs are most definitely one of them. This little guy is from Japan and his parents celebrate him with gorgeous photography. Theo seems to be the sweetest pup and they even dress him in the cutest hats! Love seeing his little face on my timeline. 



My heart definitely lies with the Spaniel breed, with their long curly ears and kissable noses. Otto is definitely one of the most beautiful dogs on Instagram, and his family are doing his justice with their photos. The quality has increases so much over the past month and it's seriously make me wish I had a pup to take pictures of!


ralphie_the_newf_and_the_boss



These gentle giants will just warm your heart every time they pop up on your feed. Ralphie and Boss help take care of their three human brothers, and basically just make everyone happy. There's such a fun/family vibe to this account and it's really sweet. I just want to cuddle both of them!


mapleandlacie



In case you were wondering, my first dog is hopefully going to be a beautiful golden cocker spaniel, just like Maple here. Of course when I decided on this breed I had to immediately follow any accounts on Insta. This one has probably turned out to be my favorite of all of them. I can't handle how beautiful these photos are!



Let me know if you have any favorite animal accounts and I'll happily check them out!
Steph x.




365 Days of Happiness: June

Monday, 3 July 2017




Happy July Everyone!

Sorry for being so quiet on the blog this month. There's no excuse really, life got busy, wasn't getting enough sleep, and having a little bit of writer's block. But I feel the blogging bug coming back, so I'm ready to dive back in again! 

Looking back on June, there were a lot of highlights and some really exciting moments. Reading along you'll be able to see what I mean, but for now just know that the future looks good! 







1. Treated myself to some Kmart house goodies and stocked up on journals. Couldn't resist the Disney ones that were on sale!

2. Today was a very difficult day losing our beloved dog Buddy. I'm really grateful for everyone sending their love. 

3. We had our first Strength session at Crossfit today. Only a bunch of us get to do it, so I'm happy to get to take part. We did a 2km tire flip in teams of five. I got covered in mud, bruises, and I can't feel my forearms, but I feel a bit like a super-hero. 

4. Burgers with the family and a Sunday night ice cream treat with Steve.

5. It was a public holiday today so we did a hero workout at CrossFit. My running felt really good! It helped that I was just trying to keep ahead of the boys the whole time. 

6. I've been looking at dog breeders to get more info about adopting a puppy later in the year. I have my heart set on it!

7. Had a cheat meal of fish and chips today!

8. This mornings CF class was so fun!
2000m run then 50 wall balls
1000m run then 35 wall balls
500m run then 20 wall balls

9. I got to leave work early today, so I couldn't resist going to the mall and checking out what home-wares were on sale. 

10. Didn't realize I had bought garlic pita breads to make pizzas with, but they turned out amazing! Then we had chocolate ice cream and it made our night perfect. 

11. Had a lovely afternoon with Mum: we had coffee, went food shopping together, and each brought cool welcome mats. 

12. We got to do a classic CrossFit workout called "DT" today. I've done it once before and wanted to do better this time. I went heavier and still came in under the time cap, so I was really happy!

13. Did a little bargain shopping today. I got:
Set of 6 wine glasses $12
Photo Frame $5
Baking Pan (great quality!) $7.50




14. Was having a crappy morning so I got a McDonald's cheat meal (double serve of chips!) I later watched the Parent Trap and it was as good as I remember. 

15. Went a little crazy on pay day in the home-ware section again, surprise surprise. I got the good knives I wanted on sale. Later I got to Steve's and he surprised me with a Dominoes dinner.

16. Finally got around to booking out plane tickets to Hawaii, and we got such a good deal on them. They were half the price we were going to pay. It all feels real now!





17. I got my hands on one of the amazing donuts my favorite cafe have been selling. So worth the wait!

18. Steve made me breakfast in bed this morning. He made my favorite: croissants with pesto, veggie bacon and tomatoes. 

19. Was in a horrible mood all day (thank you hormones) but once I got to CF and did some heavy lifting I felt 100% better and back to normal Steph. 

20. Went into Steve's work just to have lunch with him. I then came home and cooked up a whole bunch of food prep for him. 

21. Did a sneaky trip to the pet store so I could get an idea of what puppy things I will need. My future dog is going to be so spoiled!





22. Had a nice lunch with Mum after a morning at work. Then we went into Kmart and found that they were selling the A-frame bookshelves I've been wanting for $35! There were two left, with one damaged packaging and the other one perfect. Safe to say I had to buy it immediately!

23. Had a looong day at work but the boyfriend made the bed and set up a game of UNO for us. It's the small things that make me happy. 




24. The day of our in-house CrossFit competition! I really loved the workouts and felt really proud of myself. I even came 3rd place in the scaled division! 

25. Steve and Me had a lovely brunch with some awesome friends. We are lucky enough to be renting /lovingly looking after their house in October and it was the first time we were seeing it. Couldn't be more thrilled! 

26. Heavy cleans at CF today felt really good. Then I came home to my Aunt's doggies that we will be looking after and they were so happy to see me! It's nice having some furry faces around the house again. 





27. Took Lily and Rosie out for a walk around the park and it felt so good to get fresh air. On the drive home Rosie wouldn't get off my lap the whole way. Too cute!

28. I watched the engagement video for my two new favorite YouTubers, Acacia & Jairus. It all happened during a Disney light show. So lovely!

29. Another Thursday lunch out with Mum, I also ventured into Kmart (again) and scored a cool hanging shelf for $6!

30. Captured the most beautiful sunrise this morning. I finally got to chill out with Steve after barely seeing him all week and it was just what I needed. 



That was actually quite a busy month, no wonder it went so fast! 
I'm secretly hoping July will be the same. It's only a month until we go to Hawaii and it's getting more real now. I haven't really had any time off this year and work 6 days a week with my split shifts, so I am dying for a break. I can't wait to put on my shorts again, feel the sand between my toes and just have fun with the people I love. 

Goals for July:

Blog regularly again! 
Declutter my room
Pack for Hawaii
Train hard for the Spartan Race


What were some highlights from June for you?
Steph x.