October Music Playlist

Friday, 30 October 2015

Hello Everyone!
I feel like October was a pretty great month for music. I was definitely finding lots of new songs to listen to. Demi Lovato and 5 Seconds of Summer both released their new albums, Little Mix dropped some new songs from their upcoming album, and even Ginny Blackmore came out with a new song. I can't wait for One Direction to finally bring out Made In The A.M, mainly so I don't have a heart attack every time I go on twitter and see a new song is out! A little warning is all I ask boys.
I also found some new tunes for the gym, which is always a bonus. I'm starting to like hip hop to work out to, which is strange for me.
What can I say, I like what I like!

My love of Pop music continues...

Perfect - One Direction

Old Ways - Demi Lovato

Under My Feet - Ginny Blackmore

Love Me Like You - Little Mix

Lean On - Major Lazer feat. MO & DJ Snake

Hey Everybody! - 5 Seconds of Summer

Kingdom Come - Demi Lovato

Leader - Raphael Lake, Aaron Levy & Dumi Maraire

Permanent Vacation - 5 Seconds of Summer

Black Magic - Little Mix

Confident - Demi Lovato

Don't Worry - Madon feat. Ray Dalton, Johnny Powers Severin, Teddy Sky, Tshawe Baqwa & Yosef Wolde-Mariam

Drag Me Down (Big Payno x AFTERHRS Remix) - One Direction feat. LunchMoney Lewis

What's your favorite song at the moment?  
'Till next time.

5 Things That Happened a Month After Quitting My Job

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

 I only realized the other day that it had been just over a month since I left my full-time job. It also made me realize how completely different I feel since walking away. October 2015 has probably been the most progressive month of the year for me. I won't go into reasons why I left, but let's just say it was a very negative environment for me. That is all behind me now, so let's get on to the good stuff!

So, what happened?

I got my fire back
One thing I pride myself on is being quite a strong and independent person. I definitely lost that spark as the months went on, which is essentially taking away a part of who I am. I can be a confident person, but I'm knocked down easily and I certainly was at this job. I'm not sure if it's from watching too many super-heroes as a kid (well, as an adult too), but I've always needed something more than the average. Now that it's not being stifled, I have the fire to pursuit it again.

Going to the gym became more than a habit
This month I have progressed into quite the gym-bunny, as my personal trainer likes to call me. My fitness was always important to me, but now that I have more freedom in time I have been able to dedicate a lot more attention to it. I look forward to the 4-5 days a week I can go to the gym, whereas before I was averaging 2-3 days and dreading it. Once I noticed changes happening, it started becoming an addiction. Nothing makes me feel better!

#GIRLBOSS is my future
This one also has a lot to do with getting my fiery spirit back. I've been inspired this month with finding an incredible community called #BOSSBABE, as well as starting to read #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso. I've known for a while that I wanted to run my own creative business, but now I'm determined to do more than just that. A #GIRLBOSS is fearless in her pursuit, always remains fabulous, and keeps herself fit. That's what I want to be remembered for.

I can honestly say that I am happy
It's amazing what happens when you cut out the negativity in your life. Jobs that make you miserable are not worth it! Without them, you can start focusing on the things that really matter to you, or find better opportunities. Not to mention my anxiety levels have returned to normal. You'll be surprised how quickly your head-space changes once you walk away. 

I feel like me again
I always cherished my days off work when I could do some blogging, go to the gym, and just feel like myself again. I think when you work in customer service you tend to hold A LOT of emotions and thoughts inside. Which is not a good thing! Don't do that. That's why people tell us to do something we are passionate about, since we don't have to pretend to be interested in things that we clearly aren't. It makes me feel very hopeful that I am on the right path now.

What a great month it's been!

I would like to point out that still being young and having a part time job to fall back on has left me in a very fortunate position to start building my online career. I do, however, believe that there is always a plan B and if you, yourself, are unhappy in your job there is always something you can do about it. You might be surprised at what can happen and how many people support you! I certainly was.

What was your favorite thing that happened in October?  
Until next time x. 

Bloglovin' - MarvelSteph
Twitter - @MarvelSteph91
Instagram - @marvelsteph
 Pinterest - marvelsteph

Weekly Snaps Diary #1

Monday, 26 October 2015

Hello everyone!

Does anyone else have an ever-growing stack of books/journals on their desk at all times? Always.

Drawing time! I'm trying really hard to get some design drafts done this week.

Smoothie time is my favorite time of the day. Especially when they're this pretty! Would you believe this has celery in it?

Still loving vege-bowls for lunch. Note: Hummus is a great addition! 

My Personal Trainer absolutely killed my legs at our session! It will all be worth it though. He also complimented my new Under Armor shoes, so I forgive him for not being able to walk.

I finished reading The Dream Thieves so now I'm on to #Girlboss, which excites me a lot! Also snacking on Chilli and Lime snippets from the supermarket, which are the best snack ever! Hence why I only got a small bag...

Have you ever tried ice cream made from coconut cream? Well, you should! I even got the mango flavored one so it's like tasting tropical paradise. I'm in love.

These dogs never leave me alone at night time. I just want to watch Dan and Phil play Sims on YouTube in peace. That fluff though...

Changing it up for lunch. This had hummus, cream cheese and a sun-dried tomato pesto in it. I know how to live.

Found my new favorite 5SOS song! I know those boys worked hard on their album and it shows.

I went on a shopping mission this Saturday for a gift, new running gear, and a top for a party later that night. Mission achieved!

Party prep! It was my friend's engagement party, so naturally I brought out the red lips.

That about sums up my week. What was the best part of your week?
'Til next time x.

Bloglovin' - MarvelSteph
Twitter - @MarvelSteph91
Instagram - @marvelsteph
 Pinterest - marvelsteph

YouTuber of the Month: Shaaanxo

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Hello Everyone!
If you didn't know, I watch YouTube like people watch Netflix. It's an honest problem. And one thing I love is finding new YouTubers to watch, and it's even cooler when they are from the same tiny country as you! I've been watching the lovely Shannon for a few months now and she quickly became one of my favorite people on the internet. My lunch time usually consists of me sitting down to watch her latest beauty video or vlog. This month she has also done the most amazing Halloween tutorials, go check her channel out and show her some love!

YouTube name (s): Shaaanxo and Shaaanxo Vlogs
Origin: New Zealand
Age: 23
Type of videos: Beauty Tutorials, Tips, Hauls, Reviews etc.
Viewers: It doesn't matter what level of makeup skills you have, Shannon will have a video for you.
Regular Uploads: 3 times a week! Plus, daily vlogs on her second channel. 

Why you will love Shannon:
  • Her dogs Zeus and Lewie are adorable
  • She's a sweet and genuine person #friendgoals
  • Hey boyfriend Hamish is hilarious
  • She is honest with her viewers and shows both the up and down sides to YouTube
  • She can be pretty bad-ass and stands up for herself
  • Her tutorials cater for everyone

Recommended Beauty Videos:

Who is your favorite YouTuber to watch? Let me know in the comments!
Don't forget to leave your links for me to check out too!
Until next time x.

Bloglovin' - MarvelSteph
Twitter - @MarvelSteph91
Instagram - @marvelsteph
 Pinterest - marvelsteph

Photo Credit Main Picture: Websta 
Photo Credit Second Picture: Pinterest

What I Ate Wednesday

Thursday, 22 October 2015

I pretty much have the same thing for breakfast everyday, but I love it! I make my porridge with just oats, cinnamon, chia seeds and coconut milk (I usually have almond milk but this was on special at the supermarket). On top I have banana, blueberries (frozen, heated up) and since strawberries are coming in season I've been having them most mornings too. And of course I have my morning coffee to go with it.

I always have a protein shake after my workout at the gym, which I normally finish around 11am. If you saw on twitter you'll know that my legs were absolutely killed this week when my personal trainer gave me a new workout. This is where protein is a godsend for building my muscle back. I'm also a vegetarian so I need all the help I can get to make sure I'm fit and healthy. It's also chocolate flavored so it just feels like I'm treating myself! I usually make it with calcium enriched milk, but today I just had to use trim. I also had a glass of water today since I was feeling a little dehydrated.

Another salad bowl for me today! I usually just wing-it and use whatever I can find in out fridge/freezer. Today I had corn, raw zucchini, salad leaves, hummus, bean sprouts, and I cooked two vegetarian sausages for some bonus protein. For a dressing I just used some lemon juice and little bit sesame oil. Yum!

Coffee time while I get my work done!

Around 2pm I always make myself a smoothie. Let me tell you, buying a Nutri-Bullet was well worth it! It's pretty much my way of packing as many super-foods into my diet as I can. I use pretty much the same recipe most days, but oh how I wish mangoes were still in season! I know it seems weird to use protein powder again, but this only has 10g per serve and I love how it thickens up the mix. Today I used:
 Half an orange
 A stick of celery
1/3 cup cucumber
1/2 cup of frozen berries
1 tsp LSA
1 tsp Maca Powder
2 scoops protein powder (berry flavor)
1/2 cup coconut water
A little coconut milk
A little pineapple juice

Another coffee while I take a break from my work and do some reading. Coffee breaks are always necessary. Always. Especially with a book in hand!

Afternoon Snack: 
Around 4pm I usually have something small to eat. Today I just had one of my all time favorites, Vegemite and cheese on crackers. I think I'm one of the minority who prefers Vegemite to Marmite...we just never had Marmite in the house growing up! Oh and I had another glass of water.

I had someone helping me prepare this one.

So tonight I made pizza for dinner, but I made a carrot and zucchini base for it. It's super easy! Just blend it up, add 2 eggs, some spices and Parmesan cheese. Flatten them on a tray and bake for 15min, then put your toppings on and bake. I think a cauliflower base is nicer but this was good too. For the toppings I just put some roast vegetables, pesto, peppers, corn and mozzarella cheese. Yum!

To go with it, I had some home-made iced green tea. I just put the tea bag and some lemon in a jar with hot water and left it in the fridge for a few hours. I only made this one at lunch time so I could have left it for longer, but it was still quite refreshing.

I was feeling a bit peckish around 8.30pm so I thought I would make something quick. It was just a piece of wholemeal toast and some peanut butter. I sometimes have Greek yogurt and fruit as a dessert, but I wanted something a little heavier to fill me up. That will teach me for avoiding carbs all day!
Ok, so after this I was still a bit hungry, and since my legs are still so painful after my new workout the other day I was feeling sorry for myself, so I had some mint chocolate ice-cream. Oh well!

 How did you like my first What I Ate Wednesday
Slightly controversial question: Do you prefer Vegemite or Marmite?
Let me know in the comments!

Pretty Please x. 

Bloglovin' - MarvelSteph
Twitter - @MarvelSteph91
Instagram - @marvelsteph
 Pinterest - marvelsteph

10 Things II Week 5

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Hello Everyone! How has your week been? I felt quite unmotivated blog-wise this week, probably just need some new topics to write about. Nevertheless, it was still a great week. Here are my top ten things that made me happy:

1. Rosehip Oil - My latest skin savior! After watching the lovely Shaanxo on YouTube I decided it was time to add this to my skin care routine. From day one my redness from acne scars were almost gone and my skin was so much smoother. I will swear by this stuff now.

2. Sacconejoly's Jelly Bean Challenge Video - This actually had me in tears! Mainly because Anna was laughing so hard. It's an older video but it seriously cheered me up. Poor Jonathan...

3. Colorful Salad Bowls - I've been on something of a health-kick lately since I'm also working really hard on my fitness. I know salads aren't always fun to eat, but I do love my veges! Who doesn't want to eat something that looks like a rainbow? Plus, they're super filling!

4. Hey Everybody! - I'm loving the new 5 Seconds of Summer song, which will probably become my summer anthem. I've actually been listening to this a lot at the gym since it's so fun.

5. #BOSSBABE Quotes - I went on a bit of a pinning frenzy this week after finding this tag on Pinterest, since it had some of the most bad-ass advice ever. Turns out it's an incredible community for young creative women to connect and grow their businesses! Check out the website here.

6. The Amazing Book is Not on Fire - Dan and Phil were the ones who started me on my YouTube odyssey, so of course I was going to buy their book! It's actually really cool and I'm loving learning about all the behind-the-scenes stuff. I think my favorite pages so far are the fan-fictions Dan and Phil wrote. Absolutely hilarious!

7. Inecto Pure Coconut Scrub - You know when a smell takes you back to a nice memory? As soon as I put this on in the shower it took me straight back to the beaches of Hawaii. It also made my skin super soft and lovely!  

8. Another Sneaky 1D Realease - I knew One Direction were releasing "Perfect" sometime this week, so it was a nice Friday-night surprise to find it already on my playlist. I'm in love already. Is it November 13th yet?

9. New Cookbook - So my local bookshop was having a sale, and I actually bought this for my Mum for us to share. It's so much more than a normal cookbook; the lovely Lola has written bonus pages about health and wellness topics such as cravings, exercise and even mental health. If you're looking to improve your lifestyle, I would definitely recommend you pick this up. Also, all of the recipes are gluten-free and sugar free! Check out her website here.

10. Fitness Level Up - I think I progressed to a new gym-junkie stage this week. I went to the gym 5 days in a row, and on two of those days I left the gym to go for an 8km run with my Mum. I think I just wanted to see if I could do it, which I could. Also it's nice to overcome a challenge!

What was something that made you happy this week? Let me know in the comments!
Don't forget to always enjoy the little things
Until next time x. 

Bloglovin' - MarvelSteph
Twitter - @MarvelSteph91
Instagram - @marvelsteph
 Pinterest - marvelsteph

Affordable ASOS Picks to Update Your Look!

Friday, 16 October 2015

Hello Everybody!
Updating my look has been something that I have been meaning to do for a while now, especially since it's a new season. I also love online shopping (who doesn't?) since I struggle to find clothes that I like in the limited stores we have here in New Zealand. As well as being on a budget (I've got an exciting trip to LA/Seattle/Hawaii next year!), I needed to find some staple items that I could mix and match as I please. I went on ASOS with a mission to find items under $50 that would help me update my wardrobe. Here are my favorite picks:

Where are your favorite places to shop? 
'til next time x. 

Bloglovin' - MarvelSteph
Twitter - @MarvelSteph91
Instagram - @marvelsteph
 Pinterest - marvelsteph

Gym Tips for Beginners- Ways to make it easy!

Monday, 12 October 2015

Hello Everyone! 
It might sound weird, but I absolutely love running and I am completely addicted to going to the gym. I haven't always been an active person and it's taken a while for me to find a routine that actually works. I started running over a year ago with my Mum and that pretty much kicked off my fitness journey. When my work hours got changed and it was too dark to run by myself, I made the best decision ever to join a gym. I started out as a rookie, but I've since been able to learn a lot of tricks for both getting to the gym and making it a fun experience. 
I thought I would share everything that I have picked up along the way and show you ways to make starting out easier!

What's in my gym bag:
  • Drink Bottle
  • Small towel
  • Lip Gloss
  • Makeup wipes
  • Phone + headphones
(I should point out that my gym is only a 5-10 minute drive from my house so I don't bother showering there).

My number one tip: Get a personal trainer!
This is the best thing I could have for my fitness. It was very daunting the first time I entered the gym, saw all of the machines and what looked like gymnastics equipment, and knew that I had no idea what I was doing. A trainer will give you a workout based on what results you want, your own fitness level, and can show you how to use all the cool stuff!

I had a session the other day with my trainer and I just said "Give me something fun to do." Now he has me doing push-ups while I'm attached to resistance bands, which is like being in a bungee cord. The point is, he gives me stuff I look forward to coming in and doing. He's a pretty cool guy too, so it's like working out with a friend! Best money I could ever spend.

Plan days of the week you want to go, then don't think about it!
This is a big one for me. If I start thinking about going to work out, I will ALWAYS find an excuse not to go. Always. You have to push those thoughts away and just get in the car and go! Never start talking yourself out of it. Just remember that you'll never regret going, but you will if you don't.

Start slow!
Fitness takes it's sweet time to build up, so be patient, be persistent, and keep working hard. I promise you, it will all pay off in time. I've known so many people who rush into it, get hurt and then give up because of it. Last year it took me months and months to be able to run 5km, And you know what? I ran a half marathon this year (22km) so I am living proof of hard work paying off. This is also where a personal trainer comes in handy!

Fuel Yourself
This is super important to maintaining your fitness. A car can't go far with a low tank of petrol, right? Same principle. Make sure you have a good breakfast and then refuel afterwards with a high-protein snack. I have a chocolate protein shake after each workout, or run, to build my muscle back. It's pretty much me rewarding myself with a milkshake! Protein is actually great for weight-loss, so it's a win-win! I also try to keep to "Clean Eating" by cutting out processed foods. I still allow myself a whole damn pizza every now and again, but fitness and nutrition need the same amount of devotion. 

But what about other people?
I know it's intimidating when the person on the next treadmill is running faster than you. BUT the most important thing to remember is that everyone at the gym is at a different fitness level to each other. There is absolutely no use in comparing yourself to anyone else. Just the fact that you showed up is awesome!
It's also a great idea to find a time to go that suits you. Personally, I'm very put-off by a busy gym. I usually go around 10.30am or 3-4pm when it's lovely and quiet! It's not that I'm insecure, my brain is just easily distracted when there's heaps of people around and starts to freak out. The joys of being introverted.

 The Buddy System really does work!
I know, every single fitness advice column tells you this. But it really is an effective way of going to the gym regularly. You don't even have to go to the same gym, just send texts to each other saying "Did you work out this morning? I did!" I started doing this with my Mum last year and it's been great motivation since we don't want to let the other one down.

Other tips to remember:
  • 21 days makes a habit, so stick with it for three weeks and you'll be set!
  • Invest in good shoes and take your time choosing them. Trust me, you'll notice a difference.
  • Avoid wearing tight tops that make you re-adjust them every 5 minutes.
  • If your workouts start getting easy, it's time to challenge yourself again.
  • Buy new work out clothes every so often to make you excited to go to the gym and show them off.
  • Always reward yourself. Shout yourself a coffee or a new lipstick. You deserve it!
  • Listening to music is great for zoning out and making you forget you're doing exercise. 
 Just aim for a 30minute work out, 3-4 times a week and you'll do great!

So those are my words of wisdom to anyone who wants to start working out at a gym. It really is such a small part of your day, and you'll be rewarded for it too. I never thought I would become a gym-junkie, but here I am! Feeling healthier and stronger than ever. You won't regret it!

Tell me what your fitness goals are in the comments! Let's help each other out.
Until next time x. 

Bloglovin' - MarvelSteph
Twitter - @MarvelSteph91
Instagram - @marvelsteph
 Pinterest - marvelsteph

My Lazy Day Makeup - Just 5 items!

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Hi Everyone!
Now, I'm someone who will put on a full face of make-up even if I'm not really leaving the house that day. I do it because I love it! I'm quite an artistic person, so I find it as satisfying as sketching a picture. Obviously, there are some days (usually a Sunday) where I have to go out, but I'm in lazy-mode so I can't be bothered with a full-look.

I have refined my collection down to the basic products that I can reach for on these kinds of days. Just enough for some coverage and a bit of definition, and enough to make me look like less of a zombie. And it's also a really good idea to let your skin breath a bit on the occasional day.

Rimmel 9 in 1 BB Cream 
This is an absolute favorite of mine. It gives a really nice cover, but it's still light and breathable. Just enough to cover some red patches and a few spots. Plus it's SPF 25 so I know my skin will still be protected from the sun.

Benefit Gimme Brow
 This is by far the quickest way to get some definition into your brows. I will admit that I haven't been wowed by this product, I'm not sure it's worth the hype (my personal opinion!). But it's pretty good to use when you are in a hurry. 

Australis Liquid Eyeliner
Eyeliner is an absolute must for me if I'm leaving the house that day. This one is a recent find for me and I absolutely love it. It's super easy and quick to use, even for an amateur like me!

Covergirl Full Lash Bloom Mascara
This is my new favorite every-day mascara. It doesn't leave your lashes feeling clumpy or heavy like other products can, which makes it perfect for a lazy day routine.

Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment "Tulip"
These lip balms are probably my all time favorite. Ever. The few times I've been allowed to go into Sephora, I have always picked up one of them. They're super moisturizing and leave such a pretty color.

And that's it!
What products do you reach for on a lazy day?

  Bloglovin' - MarvelSteph
Twitter - @MarvelSteph91
Instagram - @marvelsteph
 Pinterest - marvelsteph

October Reading Challenge!

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Hello Everyone!
A while ago I set a challenge for myself to read one book per week, and I actually did well. For about a month. I then went on holiday, my work hours changed, and it all went out the door. Reading is my absolute favorite hobby, but I always forget to leave time for it everyday. And since I need to spend more time away from my laptop, I couldn't ask for a better distraction. It's a new month and I damn well miss reading, so lets do this!

Challenge: Read one book per week in October, four in total. I'm not being particularly strict on when I finish each of them, since some are longer than others. Just as long as I do my best to finish them around October 31st.
The order of these could very well change, I just never know what I'm going to feel like reading.

The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

It's been far too long since I've read a Percy Jackson book. I feel a little old reading them, but I love a good adventure story.

#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso

I don't usually go for books like this, I'm a massive lover of fiction. But I also love searching for inspiration and due to my current mindset, this one seemed perfect. For someone like me, who is determined to become an entrepreneur but doesn't feel like they fit the usual role, I think Sophia's story will be very helpful and reassuring.

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater 

I absolutely loved reading Th Raven Boys, so of course I bought the sequel straight away. Maggie does such an amazing job when it comes to creating characters so I can't wait to see what happens in this one.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Don't worry, I have actually read this book before! It was just three years ago and I can't quite remember everything that happens. I really want to read it again before the film comes out in November since I always get a kick out of certain moments/quotes being brought to life.

My progress so far: I decided to start with Mockingjay. I've been allowing myself to have half an hour or so between my blog work and my part-time job to read for a bit. I've also been reading before bed as well, since I've been having a bit of trouble getting to sleep I find it helps.

I will update you guys as the month goes along!
What are your favorite books to read? Leave me some recommendations in the comments!
Until next time x. 

  Bloglovin' - MarvelSteph
Twitter - @MarvelSteph91
Instagram - @marvelsteph
 Pinterest - marvelsteph