What's In My Carry On Bag!

Thursday, 25 August 2016






Hello Everyone!

It's that time of year again where I get to hop on a plane and go on a new adventure. I realized the other day that I haven't had a full week off from work since this time last year. It's safe to say that I'm feeling a little exhausted mentally and it's time I had a little break. I'll still be blogging, but I might just be a little slower uploading than usual.

I'm going to be flying to LA with my family, staying for a week then moving on to Seattle and Hawaii. I thought it would be cool to show you what I'm bringing with me for the flight, especially since I always get so curious as to what other people bring. These are my go-to essentials for long flights:



Entertainment

A New Book

This is a little holiday tradition that I started years ago, where I always have a new novel to start at the beginning of a vacation. I'm a massive bookworm, so this just adds to my excitement. It's also great to have a book ready in case you get sick of staring at your entertainment screen and you need something quieter to do. I usually whip it out when I'm waiting to board too. This year I chose Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard.

Laptop

This one is half because I don't want it getting damaged in my luggage, and the other half because there's always blog work to do! You never know when a great idea might hit you and the need to start typing immediately. There's also going to be some waiting time at airports, so I might as well get some editing done. Or just use the free wifi to scroll Twitter...


Ipod + Headphones

Because I can't go far without my music! I struggle to sleep on planes, but a good playlist always helps me chill out and send me off snoozing. I always use my big over-ear headphones for the entertainment screen, since the sound quality is so much better if you bring your own. I'm gonna be loading up my Spotify with some good music for my flight!


Notebook

You all know what a journal hoarder I am, so I wouldn't get on a twelve hour flight without taking one with me, would I? In this case, I'm going to be keeping my Bullet Journal with me since it's going to be used for quite a few different things on this trip. You never know when you need to write down a few notes or ideas that you don't want to forget. Or you get bored and want to doodle on the page to keep entertained.





Camera Bag

DSLR/Instax

The main reason I always carry these on board with me is to avoid any damage or theft at the airport. I've seen how rough they handle bags and the thought of my SLR getting broken makes me want to cry! That thing is in my hand constantly when we're traveling, so I like to keep it with me always. The same goes for my Instax camera, I just like keeping it in my backpack, which is pretty well padded anyway, and stowing it in the over-head locker where I know it won't move much. It's all about peace of mind knowing that my cameras are safe.



Beauty Bag

I have a little clear pouch that's perfect for flying with and I whenever I need to freshen up on the plane, I can just grab it and go. My night-time moisturizer is the first thing I pack, because if there's one thing I've learned from beauty YouTuber's, it's to moisturize well when flying. I good lip-balm is equally as important for the same reason. I'm also bringing: facial wipes, hand cream, throat lollies, deodorant, hand sanitizer, and BB cream for when we land and I want to look a bit fresher.




And that's it! I usually watch a lot of movies and try getting some sleep on long night-flights, but I still feel better bringing these things with me.

What are some of your flight essentials?
Steph x.





Why I Choose Clean Eating & Tips for Starting!

Wednesday, 17 August 2016





Choosing a healthy way of eating that works best for you is equally as important as joining a gym, if not more, when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. My own food philosophy has evolved a lot over these past couple years and eating clean has been the most significant part of that. I have honestly never felt better than how I do now with my eating habits, obviously bad days happen and I need a treat or two, but I never feel guilty anymore. As a disclaimer, these are my own personal views that are meant to help others understand eating clean better. I know it's not a lifestyle that suits everyone, but it's a topic that I feel very passionate about. And always talk to a doctor or nutritionist before making any big changes.



So, what is clean eating?  
Just think of the freshest food possible that is pure and nutritious for you. There's no baddies like artificial sugars or preservatives going into what you eat and doing damage to your body. Eating clean means focusing on wholesome food that only relies on natural ingredients to give you flavor and nutrition. It's fueling yourself with nature's best!


So, how did I get into this clean eating lifestyle? Well, one Saturday morning after a run about three years ago now, my Mum and I thought we would try a new cafe that she read about in a magazine. We found so many healthy choices that tasted incredible, not to mention the best coffee I've ever had in my life! Pure Cafe Co. introduced us to a philosophy and lifestyle that we would grow to love and practice everyday. Every single time we left after eating breakfast there, my whole body felt so unbelievably clean and happy. I become obsessed with feeling this way and haven't looked back since!




Start Small With Replacements

If you're just starting to eat cleaner, don't feel pressured to be like the foodie Instagrammers with their salad bowls and smoothies that are works of art in a jar. The best way to start is to make a few simple replacements into your routine and go from there. Your everyday breakfast is a great place to begin; swap your old cereal for eggs on wholegrain toast, or load up some porridge with yummy toppings. For dinner, have brown rice instead of white with your meal. Start with small changes into your everyday diet and you'll be on your way!


Find what you love, and eat lots of it! 

There's all sorts of different healthy alternatives that you'll find associated with clean eating. So many grains and flours to try out, as well as your usual fruits and vegetables. It can be a little overwhelming, so I find that it's great idea to build a list of staple ingredients that you've tried and enjoyed. For me, I can't live without oats, bananas, almond milk, buckwheat flour and whey protein. Having healthy options that you genuinely love will help curve cravings for junk food and you'll barely notice how healthy you're eating! If you love quinoa, stock it in your cupboard every week. Get creative and try new recipes full of your favorite vegetables. Eat the good foods that you love and your body will reward you.


Grow your understanding of Nutrition 

This has been really important for me on my fitness journey and they're two lifestyle elements that have to work well together. By beginning to understand the basics of how protein, carbs, sugars, and fats work with (or against your body) can be a real eye-opener into how powerful food can be. Clean eating is all about nourishing your body and fueling yourself with foods that can heal you too. There's tonnes of great articles in health magazines that give you great advice on the benefits of particular foods. I truly believe that food can be the best medicine, and it's where I look to first if I ever become unwell. The further I get into my journey, the more curious I am to learn more about food science.


Stick to the purest forms of food

 This is pretty much the golden rule of a clean eating lifestyle, and it's also what makes your body feel amazing. Being smart about knowing what's going into your body will give you the best results. It's the processed foods with preservatives and an overload of sugar that causes you harm and leaves you with that bleh feeling. Try to avoid anything from packets or jars, and get creative in your kitchen instead! You'll feel the benefits of it pretty soon.







What you eat is one of the few things in life that you have complete control over. By eating clean foods, you'll get benefits from every point of your lifestyle: weight-loss, better mental health, more energy, and clearer skin. It's not as boring as you think, and you can still have some of the foods you love!


What do you think about the clean eating lifestyle? I'd love to know!

Steph x.









My Ten Happiness Essentials

Sunday, 14 August 2016





Hello Everyone!

We all have those little things that make us happy, right? Over the past year I've tried to stop more and appreciate what makes me happy, no matter how silly or small. They say that you should make time everyday for the things that make you smile and these things listed below are guaranteed to get me through a rough day. It's funny how something so simple can make you so happy. I could have easily listed about fifty more, but these are my absolute essentials.

Here's a list of all the things that I have made a priority and make me the happiest!



My Family

People find it weird with how well our family gets on with each other. Both my brother and are in our mid-twenties and we still love going on holiday with our parents. Not in a lame way, just because we all love exploring similar places. We have a really strong family unit and since I started running with my Mum, we've become really close. One of the things that makes me really happy and calm is when we all sit around and chat about stuff together. I know they have my back for everything and they support me through every decision. Nothing beats family.


Keeping Active 

You all know what a gym-junkie/runner I am, can't go a day without doing some form of exercise. And no wonder, because there are so many reasons why being active makes you happier in life. It makes me feel productive for the day, lets me feel super-confident with myself, and helps me think better for when I'm writing. Ever since I made a habit of exercising everyday, my mental health is so much better and I can't imagine ever giving it up now. This one is less of an essential and more of a compulsive daily habit that I need in life.


A Hot Cup Of Coffee

This is probably a daily essential for a lot of you too and I just don't like my day without it! It's not always the caffeine boost that I need (although it seriously helps!) but more the comfort you get from sitting down with a fresh cup. It's something reassuring throughout the day that makes you feel like you can handle whatever gets thrown at you.


Being Creative 

I was always a creative kid and that never changed as I got older. Whether I'm drawing, taking photos, writing, painting, or working on some kind of project, it's guaranteed to make me happy. Being creative is just something that I need to do and get out of my system. I always have about ten journals on my desk at one time, plus more on my bookshelf for when I need them. This is where blogging became my ultimate dream job, because I get to be creative in all of my favorite ways when I'm working. Very necessary for keeping my mind happy!


Travel

Even when I was younger, our family would travel the length of New Zealand for my brother's BMX races in our old van. We have always traveled, and never on a big budget. As we got older we still we started venturing further too (first Australia, then America.) I caught the travel bug early and it's never left me. I can't tell you how excited I get at the thought of being at an airport with a suitcase and going off to explore a new city. It will always be an essential in my life to plan and live adventures. It's usually where I'm my happiest!


Doing What I Love Everyday 

Last year I was working in my first full-time job and it was a real eye opener into the real world after University. I started having a few problems in the workplace and it was only on my days off that I felt like myself again. I would spend my time blogging and getting proper workouts done at the gym. I left that job after eight months to save my mental health and pursue what I felt passionate about, which was my blog. Looking back almost a year later and it was still the best decision I could have made. I can genuinely say that I love what I do everyday and even though it's not enough to support me just yet, I know my hard work will pay off one day. I wouldn't change it for anything!


Setting Goals 

I've definitely become more goal-orientated as I've grown older. It keeps life interesting and fun! I love a good challenge and having something to work towards is such great motivation. Whether it's a goal for my fitness (currently: muscle ups!) or growing my blog and being able to collaborate with brands, goals are one of my favorite things to work on. I don't settle for average, I work hard on what I want in life and setting lots of goals to achieve will get me there!


Sacconejoly Family

I know, I know, I talk about these guys a lot. But they have been a part of my daily routine for nearly two years now and for some reason this family just brings a lot of happiness to my day. I don't know whether it's Jonathan's positive attitude and humor, or they kids being super-cute. Or maybe because I feel like me and Anna are so similar that we would be great friends. It's probably all of the above combined with that reassurance that when I get up in the morning there's a new daily vlog waiting for me. Positive influences are very essential for staying happy, and this family never fail to be that for me.


Getting Enough Sleep 

I think we all know what this one is important! Just the other day I had once again not gotten enough sleep for a second night in a row and I was incredibly cranky. I could hardly get any work done because it makes me have writer's block, which only made me feel worse. I'm sure we have all had these kinds of days and vow to ourselves that we will be in bed by 10pm sharp to not have a repeat of it the next day. Although, sometimes we just can't help but prioritize other things over sleep (and Suicide Squad was totally worth it!) 


Positive Influences

This one has become quite apparent to me lately and it's crazy how fast your mood changes with the right people around. I've been so incredibly lucky over this past year find some amazing friends that inspire me daily. They are guaranteed to pick me up on my days where I'm not feeling my best and make me want to be the absolute best version of myself. Having the right people around me makes such a big difference, it's contagious energy and it's made me picky with who I surround myself with.






What are some of your happiness essentials?
Steph x.


My Dineyland Bucketlist

Wednesday, 10 August 2016




I've probably started annoying some of you with my holiday talk, but I'm so excited because in a few short weeks I'm going to be in Disneyland! Coming from New Zealand, it's been a childhood dream to go to one of the parks, but America is just so far away. Time (and my parents) have been kind to me and I will be able to be a kid again for a day. 

I thought it would be cool to jot down a bunch of things that I really want to do, especially since we only have one day there. I really want to make the most of my experience, so here's my Disneyland Bucketlist:



Buying a pair of Minnie Ears and wear them the whole day


Eat a Mickey-shaped churro (or two)


Ride the tea cups with my Mum


Touch Snow White's apple and hear the witch's laugh


Get my hands on some Dole Whip from the Tiki Room 


Explore Cinderella's Castle


Ride Splash Mountain (and get soaked!)


Take a picture in front of the castle. All the selfies!


Stay and watch the fireworks show


 See the Iron Man suits at Innoventions in Tomorrowland


Yell "Andy's Coming!" at the Toy Story characters and see if they drop down


Make a wish in Snow White's Well


Visit the Star Wars Launch Bay and check out the props


Tour Tarzan's Treehouse




Let's see if I can do it all in one day!

What's on your Disney Bucketlist? Is there anything I should do?
Steph x. 



Recipe: My Every Morning Energy Porridge!

Tuesday, 9 August 2016






Fun fact for you: I hated porridge until a couple years ago. I never used to have it as a kid and when I did, I don't remember enjoying it. That all changed thanks to YouTube/Anna Saccone for showing me that if you add some delicious toppings, porridge can be amazing! 

These days I have porridge almost every morning (because Sunday pancakes are a must!) and I am yet to get sick of it. It's such an easy and quick breakfast that will keep you fuller for so much longer than other alternatives. When it comes to taste, it's all about being creative with your toppings and finding combinations that you love. It can even help you get more nutrients into your diet and start your day feeling great! Who says porridge has to be boring anyways? Here's my recipe that I use every morning that always gives me loads of energy before I head off to the gym: 


Ingredients:
(Serves one)

1/3 cup Oats
2/3 cup Almond Milk (or your milk of choice)
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Chia Seeds

Optional: 1/2 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder 

Mix the oats and milk in a small saucepan over a medium heat, stirring regularly. When it begins to boil and it has thickened well, take the saucepan off the heat and stir in the cinnamon/chia seeds. 
Pour into a bowl and have fun with some toppings! 


Toppings: 

Go nuts with whatever fruits you love the most! I love having banana and blueberries as a classic combination, or grated apple something different. 
Adding a little bit of honey for extra sweetness is also amazing. 
For some extra energy, why not find a nut & seed mix to sprinkle on top! It gives you great texture too. 


If you want to make porridge for other members of your family, just remember the 2:1 ratio of milk and oats for perfect servings!

What are your favorite porridge toppings?
Steph x.



Daily Blog: Finding Snow, Olympics & Suicide Squad!

Sunday, 7 August 2016




Happy Saturday! 






Starting my weekend the best way possible: sleeping in and having breakfast in bed with YouTube playing! This is probably the most relaxing part of my week and I love it so much. 




Getting some blog posts written this morning. I had total writer's block yesterday, so I'm happy that my head feels a bit clearer today. 
I'm also in the middle of organizing my bullet journal for my holiday in two weeks. I've drawn out a monthly planner, blog post ideas, wishlist, and now I'm working on my Disneyland Bucketlist. I've got a whole post on it coming for you very soon! 





Time for our Saturday morning run! The weather is very sketchy today, so I'm taking my waterproof jacket with me. 









Everyone in Christchurch has been talking about getting a snow storm through, but sadly we haven't had much. I love snow! These little patches are the only signs of it that we could find. Was still kinda cool. 





Finally time for food! My legs struggled a bit running today and the thought of food sometimes gets me through. Of course I got a protein ball, and a quinoa fritter with salad. It was all so good! 




The weather is so crazy today! It's very typical of NZ, it changes every few minutes.






Mum and I stopped by one of our favorite sports stores, because it wouldn't be a weekend without visiting one. She wanted to pick up some tape and rehab balm and I managed to get the resistance band I've been wanting on sale! I'm taking it on holiday with me for morning workouts and to keep up my strength training. I've been working so hard on it and lately and I don't want to lose it!




Currently watching the opening ceremony of the Olympics! I love doing this every year with my family and to make sure I cheer on the New Zealand team.




Time for some food before I go off to work. It's leftover buckwheat and ricotta gnocchi from dinner last night with a bit of fennel salad.





Back home from a night at work and it's time for my sanity meal of the week! We always get Fish & Chips on a Saturday and I feel like it helps me keep a good relationship with food. Treats are okay every once in a while and it makes working hard on my training all week so worth it.
And of course it wouldn't be Saturday night without binging on a few episodes of Chuck!

Off to see Suicide Squad now!!

OMG you guys I loved the movie! I thought it was so good, the characters (apart from the Joker...) were hilarious and had such great depth to them. I mean, you can't go wrong with Will Smith.
It definitely lived up to my expectations and is the best DC movie I've seen since the Dark Knight trilogy. Deadshot and Harley Quinn just carried the whole movie, it was awesome.



What did you guys get up to this weekend?

Steph x.


Travel Blog Post Ideas

Wednesday, 3 August 2016





Hello Everybody!

It's the middle of the year (and the middle of winter for us in the Southern Hemisphere) which means that it's the perfect time for a holiday! Being a blog-addict, I really want to continue writing while I am  away traveling. It seems like the perfect time to create really cool content and share the best of your experience. So many photo opportunities (oh the Instagrams!) and hidden gems to share.

A while ago I started coming up with a list of ideas for blog posts while I was away on vacation. And seeing as I LOVE writing lists, I thought I would share what I came up with!


My Long-Haul Flight Essentials

What I Ate In A Day 

My Favorite Spots I found in ____

Shopping Hauls

Beach Bag Essentials 

What's In My Carry On Bag

Keeping Fit On Holiday

Travel Makeup Bag

Holiday Vibes: What I Wore

Tips For Eating Healthy On Holiday

Inside My Travel Journal 

Favorite Travel Hacks 

How I Continued Blogging On Vacation

Top highlights from your trip 

My Tips For Traveling On A Budget 

Trying ___ Candy! (Pictures & Review)

What I Love Most About Traveling 

 Photo Diary

My Holiday Through Instagram

My Top Tips For Visiting ____

What's In My Camera Bag

Daily Blog 

 Checking Off My Bucketlist 

Top 10 (Tips, Restaurants, Places to Shop/Visit etc)

 Why I Would/Wouldn't Go Back To ____

Your go-to Plane Outfit

Travel Blog Kit: My Essentials 

Tourist Spots Worth The Hype!



Let me know if there are any other topics you love to write about when you travel!

Steph x.