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. 

Seven Months of CrossFit

Friday, 30 June 2017






I honestly can't believe it's only been half a year since I decided to take the leap and try a whole new way of training. I still remember having weeks of internal conversion that goes: "Should I, or shouldn't I?" but thankfully it all worked out the way it's supposed to and I found the best facility for me to be my best.





What surprised me the most about CrossFit was the community that makes it all possible and the people from my box that make you feel welcome every day. From day one I knew I had found my squad (do people still say that?) and our coach cares a lot about our progress. I wouldn't have hit so many PRs or even finished workouts without them. There's people at a similar fitness level to me, as well as some strong AF athletes that inspire me to lift heavier every single day. It's a dream of mine to become as strong as them. A year ago I would have said "No, absolutely not" at the suggestion of doing group classes, but after only one lesson (and a couple weeks of anxiety) I haven't looked back.





I used to spend hours at the gym trying to banish areas of my body that I hated and work them until I was sore and satisfied. I still enjoyed the movements, but it can take it's toll on you emotionally. Jump forward nearly eight months and I'm really bloody proud of my body. It's gotten faster, proved itself capable of things I never thought possible (hand-stand push-ups yo), and I both feel and look strong. CrossFit makes me feel like a superhero, like I've achieved something great. It was the challenge I so badly craved and nothing my old gym could ever give me.


Last weekend, my box hosted an in-house competition. This was the test to see how far I had come this year and to prove to myself that all my hard work would pay off. Of the two halves of CF (strength and metcon) I've always been more confident in the latter. I still love learning weight-lifting and I get better with each class, but it's something that's going to take a while to get confident with. Going into the competition I felt good and ready to take on whatever my coach threw at us. We did sprints, sandbag carries, sit-ups, and heavy clean lifts. I managed to place third out of the ten girls competing (and that was after my judge stuffed up my chances of doing well in the final.)






Despite a few hiccups, I couldn't have been more proud of myself and how I performed on the day. This was a whole new environment for me with doing workouts in front of an audience. But I stayed focused and it really payed off! It's the best feeling knowing that you did your best and I chase that in every class I go to.

Crossfit is a lifestyle. It keeps you inspired, fit, strong, and you can take the confidence you gain into every other aspect of your life. I know people tend to pre-judge CrossFit, but it has become a passion that I have no intention of giving up. We all need hobbies that make us happy and keep us fit, right?

I hope you're enjoying this part of my fitness journey! I would love to talk more about it and share my goals for the future.

Tell me what you've been loving lately!
Steph x.







365 Days of Happiness: May

Monday, 5 June 2017






Oh May, what a month you were!
So many ups and downs these past few weeks. I'm still adjusting to working full time and juggling everything else in life (drinking enough water, keeping my room clean, and being in bed by 10pm.)  But I enjoy working hard because I know that I'm doing everything to achieve my goals.

I'm very happy with where my training has been going lately too. My skills are definitely improving and my knee doesn't hold me back anymore (not even box jumps!) I have also entered an in-house competition at the end of June, so it'll be fun putting my hard work to the test!




1. Baked healthy oat & blueberry muffins (recipe here!) I also came first in the CrossFit workout today, that never happens! 

2. Achieved a day of healthy eating, which is no small feat. 

3. There was a lot of front squats in the workout today and I'm really proud of how well I did, I was not letting go of that bar! I also got my first 10 unbroken toes-to-bar. 

4. Bought myself a cute set of measuring cups today, can't wait until I'm baking with them in my own kitchen. 




5. Our new gym merch arrived today and everyone loved my blue hoodie! They're doing a special order so more people can get one. I think I started a trend. 

6. Felt great running the hills today, I also bought Mum the stuff she wanted from Lush for Mothers Day. We actually went out to two events tonight, it felt nice getting dressed up. 

7. Bought some more house items today, at bargain prices too. Went out to a Thai restaurant for Steven's Mum's birthday. 

8. Conquered a tough workout with the alpha class today!
1 mile run
50 front squats 
300 skips
100 sit ups
50 sumo high bar deadlifts
100 box jump overs

9. First night sleeping in our new winter flannelette sheets and they're so soft!

10. Spent the night in watching the new Big Bang Theory episode with Mum.

11. Got a PR on my Clean lift this morning of 50kg! Cleans are one of my favorite lifts now. 

12. It was deadlift day at CrossFit and I'm getting closer to the 100kg club (97.5kg PR!) I'm happy because I'm finally back to what I was lifting before me knee injury.

13. Had a Dominoes feast with Steve after work. I must have been hungry because I finished my entire pizza in about twenty minutes!

14. Started Mother's Day with a Fun Run where the whole family came along. Then we had a delicious lunch at her favorite cafe.

15. Steve got a great deal on a new 55" TV is it's so big! We celebrated with CrossFit, eating New York cheesecake and watching Transformers.

16. I got to have the morning off work, so I made dinner for the whole family. It gave my Mum some well-deserved time off.

17. Went a mid-day CrossFit class, which was tough but so fun! I killed it on the clean lifts and squats.

18. Finally found the right cutlery set for our future flat. Feels great to be building stuff up.

\


19. Steve got me a burger and onion rings from Carl's Jr after I had an anxiety attack. Safe to say that it helped a lot.

20. Saturday got to be what I wanted to do so, we ate nachos (with A LOT of sour cream on top) and played UNO. I totally won!

21. Got to have a cozy sleep-in and watch the CrossFit Regionals. It's so fun cheering for my favorite athletes and seeing them in action.

22. We did one of my favorite hero workouts today:
Nate (20min AMRAP)
2 burpee pull-ups
4 handstand push-ups
8 Kettlebell swings
I pushed through and got 19 rounds!!

23. The amount of support for Manchester is so inspiring. It renews my faith in humanity.

24. Steve and I may have a flat to move into in October! We couldn't be more excited.




25. Had a little wander through Kmart and scoped out my new home-ware purchases. We also treated ourselves to some dessert: the new chocolate pie from McDonald's!

26. Had a very tough day today but I had a nice early night in bed watching more CrossFit Regional events.




27. I participated in a rowathon for charity today and even though it was the toughest thing I have ever had to do physically, I was really proud of our team. We seriously rowed our hardest! My reward was fish and chips for dinner then ice cream for dessert.

28. Cozy Sunday, exactly the way it should be: pancakes in bed, blog work, and watching more regional action!

29. Had a fun strength class practicing our over-head squats. They're feeling a lot smoother now, and hopefully they will help my snatch lifts get better.





30. Made myself proud when I tackled a tough workout today. I came home and my arms were pumped! And they should be after 100 pull-ups and 100 push-ups.

31. Steven surprised me with Indian for dinner. After a long day it's just what I need.



That beautiful face! Saying goodbye to him, knowing he would never sleep next to me at night broke my heart. You could never find a dog with a bigger personality or the fact that he would have a conversation with you in doggy talk. Buddy was one of a kind. Thank you for all the laughs and love you gave me over the 12 years you were in my life. You were always meant to come live with us and I couldn't be more grateful that you did.


Here's to a great June!
Steph x. 

Changing Up My Look Optically!*

Thursday, 1 June 2017





Wearing glasses is a big part of my personal style and I don't feel like myself without them.
It's so much so that it's a big reason I don't wear contacts.

I have always enjoyed the process of picking out my new frames and I love being a little brave with it. I've had red frames before, as well as purple ones. And I have been rocking my "Superman" frames that have a pop of blue on the inside for nearly two year now.

As someone who has VERY poor eyesight, it's important to me that I have glasses I really enjoy wearing. They're pretty much stuck to my face from the second I get out of bed, to when I hop back in at night.

The only thing that usually holds me back from a trip to the optometrist for new frames is the price tag that comes with it. It can be hard to justify $500 when that holiday in the sun is on top of your priority list. But thankfully there is a solution!







When the awesome people from Optically contacted me, I got really excited.
After browsing their glasses online, I fell in love with so many gorgeous pairs. And with 3000 pairs to look through, it's no wonder why! I couldn't help but buy a pair called "Rouge" that I had my eyes on from the start (see what I did there?)
They're not what I would usually be brave enough to try, but at such a good price ($35 including prescription and shipping!!) I decided to just go for it. They also add in free scratch resistant coating, which is really reassuring for someone as clumsy as me.






They arrived only three working days later, which is super-quick in my experience with prescription glasses. It was such an awesome surprise! It's so fun getting your new glasses and this time was no different. There's always that first glance in the mirror after you try them on. I wasn't disappointed and loved showing my family these beautiful frames. The prescription was spot on too, top quality.





I've been really impressed with Optically, especially with their range of frames available. There's so many styles to choose from, and with designer glasses like Gucci and Marc Jacobs at way lower prices than I see in stores, you can afford to try any style. They even make prescription sunglasses, which is something I will be investing in before summer comes around. I always see some many cute pairs when I'm out and about, but they're useless to blind old me! But now I can try aviators or these gorgeous Fendi ones. I'm gonna have a lot of fun picking one (or two, or three) new shades soon.

It's going to be really great to change up my frames everyday to suit my mood and what I'm wearing. My glasses can be my best accessory and I'm happy that I've found an easy/affordable website to get them from. Never underestimate how great you feel while rocking great glasses! I'm gonna be changing up my look a lot more regularly now.

Make sure you check out their website, especially if you're from New Zealand or Australia, to check out their great deals and selection. Or even just to find some ideas of what frames you might like to try. They really do have something to suit everyone.

Do you wear glasses? How do you have fun with it?
Steph x.


*This post was sponsored by Optically. All opinions and images are my own.