Daily Blog: Spiced Apple Porridge, Iron Man & Gym PB!

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Good Morning from a rainy Christchurch!
I actually slept so well last night and I feel like it was because I had fresh sheets on my bed. Is there anything better? 

Tamarillo, blueberries and banana on my porridge this morning and it was super-delicious! Can never have enough fruit.

I've just been editing yesterday's photos and watching my usual vlogs on YouTube to keep me inspired and happy for the day. Works every time! The latest Ben Brown vlog where him and SP went to IKEA had me laughing so hard. Seriously check it out!

A very important part of my pre-gym routine is motivational music. Currently blasting my girl, Hailee Steinfeld. Love her music!

Gym OOTD: Under Armor tank & Cotton On Body Shorts. Excuse the fluff.

I'm that girl wearing shorts and a pink leather jacket to the gym today lol just keeping it cool ( I actually just can't fit it in my bag, so I have to wear it.)

Today is leg day! Woohoo! Every fit-girl's favorite day on a workout program. I just did a 3 minute Wattbike warmup at a good speed, then went straight to the squat rack. A.K.A my personal gym love.

I did well today with my weights, not as good as last week, but I'm up for any kind of challenge and these are killing me at the moment. I did start to feel super dizzy which isn't good, so I took a few extra rests in between. Don't wanna be fainting in the gym!

Next was hip thrusts and I managed to do a personal best!! I was doing them with 85kg (187lbs) or 105kg including the bar. So happy with that! I was just finding it too light, so I kept adding more and more weight. My trainer looked over at one point and mouthed "WTF?!" And giddy little me was like "I know!" He couldn't believe it and seemed quite proud of me, which is the best feeling ever. My Supergirl powers are coming along nicely, I'd say.

In between my hip thrusts, I also did cable kickbacks with 22kg. Then I moved onto box pushes, which I knew would make my legs burn. Sure enough, they really did. This was my way of adding some cardio in as well.

I was about an hour in by now, so I decided to do some ab work to finish off. I did some ab crunches with these hoops (not really sure what they're called) after remembering that it was one of Lucy's favorite exercises in our collab that we did. Really works both your abs and legs at the same time.

I also did some planking with the balance trainer (it's like half a swiss ball) which is one of my most used pieces of equipment at the gym lately, I love using it for core work. I did a minute of planking, then went back to my ab crunches. I was feeling pretty shattered by this point!

And that's legs done! Starting to really see some definition in my glutes now that I've increased my weights. Gonna get me a squat booty!

Feeling pretty great after that workout. It's now noon, so I have to head home to get some work done and cuddle the dogs for a bit.

Protein filled lunch to keep me full and recharged after today's workout. Been looking forward to this. Also having a pear to finish off, they're my favorite to have during the day.

For some reason I was SUPER hungry by three o'clock, so I kinda had a second lunch. It was tuna, avocado, carrot sticks, hummus, and a flat bread. I love these kinds of snack bowls where you can pick so many yummy things to fit in. More food the better, really.

All right, even though it's a super rainy day I really have to get blog photos done for my June Goals post. Have to pick the brightest spot in the house and give it a go! White card and natural lighting make for great blog pictures.

When I was at the gym today I started craving spiced apples, so I thought of a really simple recipe to try out:

3 apples, cubed
2 tablespoons coconut oil
ground cloves
ground nutmeg
(use as much or as little as you want with the spices, I tend to go a bit crazy.)

Stew on a low heat until soft and delish : )

Watching my ultimate favorite Marvel movie, Iron Man, while I get some work done and my apples cook. It's kinda making me want to switch to Team Iron man. He's just so cool. Speaking of, I'm a bit of a soundtrack geek, and the Iron Man one is just awesome. Perfect superhero music.

I want to wait until Mum gets home to have dinner together, so I'm having half my apple mix with some porridge for a pre-dinner snack. I know I've had it already today, but I was really craving another bowl! Cinderlla (the 2015 live action movie) came on TV and it's got me in a Disney mood! Really want to be a princess for the day (big, poofy dress included.)

Dinner tonight was salmon poached in a light coconut curry, a tonne of broccoli and black rice on the side. So yummy! I also topped off the night with my all-time favorite tea: green tea with strawberry. Feeling quite relaxed now. Buddy helped me with the dishes ; )

I've been in super work mode tonight and managed to get a couple of blog posts all ready to go. I even went on to watch Iron Man 2, even though I should have been asleep by then. But, you know, priorities : )

I hope you guys are enjoying these day in the life posts so far! I'm gonna take a break tomorrow since it's going to be a boring work day anyway. But I promise the rest of the week is gonna be good!

Now the all important question: What's your favorite Marvel movie?

Steph x.

June Goals 2016

Hurray, it's a new month!
Happy June everyone. We are officially half-way through the year now (don't worry, I'm freaking out too.) But that doesn't mean we can't make the rest of 2016 awesome and productive. Starting with June, I really want to step everything up and give 110% to my blog and other projects. I love setting goals and making a conscious effort to work towards them. Let's make the second half of 2016 even better than the first!

Better blog growth

You know that annoying time when you feel like your blog or Twitter numbers are stagnating? I think throughout May I haven't concentrated enough on growth, and as a result everything came to a bit of a standstill. It's time to get better at my social media management and see if I can grow my community. I've made some amazing blogging friends lately and would love to make some more. 

Daily blogging  

If you haven't seen over the past few days, I've been posting daily blogs! Just stuff about my everyday life: my workouts, my diet, and everything in between. I would love to keep this up throughout June and see how it goes. I'm enjoying it so far and it's certainly keeping me busy. Make sure you guys let me know what you think of them!

Finally get some money in savings

I have a really exciting trip planned for August-September that includes going to the likes of Disneyland and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter *internal screaming* And I'm obviously planning on hitting the gift shops hard. I really need to buckle down and concentrate on building up my savings account again. I'm also planning on getting a few more tattoos done when I get back. Best to start good saving habits now!

Create and stick to a daily routine 

I don't know about you guys, but I'm usually most productive when I am on a schedule. With starting to daily blog now, I really need to set a routine in stone that I can stick to. I always write down a to-do list the night before, but I think it's time I create a blogging schedule to help me be more productive.

Step it up at the gym

One lesson that I have taken away from my workouts in May, is that your body is capable of more than you think. I feel like I improved a lot more this month because I stepped away from my usual routine. Just trying to lift an extra 5kgs or fitting in an extra set of cardio exercises can really make a difference to how satisfied you feel with your workout. It's time I worked even harder and see what my body can achieve!

Be braver

I think this was one of my New Year 2016 goals and it's something I've been taking baby steps with. Just stuff like making conversation (helping with my social anxiety) and even wearing a crop top to the gym. I remembered that quote that goes "Fortune favors the bold" and I think it's absolutely true. Through June and the rest of the year, I am going to make a habit of being brave. Sometimes just for the fun of it, or because I need to. The braver the better.

Let's tackle the rest of 2016 like it's our best year yet!

What are your goals for June? 

Steph x.

Daily Blog: Arm Workout, Comfort Food & Getting Organized!

Monday, 30 May 2016

Happy Monday Everyone!
I'm not sure exactly when it happened, but I actually love Mondays now. It's probably been since I started working from home and all. But I do love the promise of a new week. But first, coffee.

I didn't sleep very well last night because our dogs would not settle (they're old and a bit senile) so I slept in til about 7.20am. One thing that always wakes me up is watching Snapchat stories. Anna Saccone is my go-to every single time, I love her! 

Just my usual porridge for breakfast this morning. I make it with oats, almond milk, cinnamon, and chia seeds. I also added some protein powder in as well to get in some extra strength before the gym. The weather is freezing this morning, so I need my favorite porridge to keep me warm.

My morning has been pretty productive so far; just doing a bit of writing and getting my usual house chores done. By the way, this doggy makes it particularly difficult to change my sheets every week. He loves sleeping on my bed in the mornings, so I never want to disturb him but I had to today. Sorry Buddy!

9 am means it's time to get ready for the gym! I'm gonna be showering there today because that always saves me so much time. It's also nice when people see you in normal clothes for a change and not being a sweaty mess. Also forever raiding my Mum's wardrobe because she has really great taste in clothes!

I'm usually really disorganized and spend twenty minutes just decided what outfit I want to take with me. I always get paranoid that I will forget something important, but as long as I have a towel and music, I'm good. (BTW I forgot my laundry bag for dirty clothes, oops!)

By the way, this is how glam I am in the mornings: Ugg boots and a One Direction tee. I'm all about that comfort. And Harry Styles.

I wanted to wear-in my new Reebok shoes today, but they're still a bit muddy from yesterday's run that I'm too anxious I will just get dirt all through the gym. And no one wants to be that person, right? Might just stick to my usual Under Armors instead.

Gym OOTD: Keeping it basic today with my Puma leggings, Nike DryFIT tank and Jockey crop top. Super comfy for a bit of cardio I am going to force myself to do in my workout.

So I've been trying this new pre-workout and it's been really good so far. I still love that extra burst of energy I get when it kicks in. Best way to get the most out of your workout. It's also green apple flavor : )

Making my post-workout reward A.K.A my favorite protein smoothie! It's frozen banana, calcium milk, vanilla whey protein, and Mother Earth chia seed peanut butter. Yum!

Finally gym time! I'm all about the arms today, which means I have to force myself into doing more cardio than I usually like to. I started with 10 minutes on the cross-trainer, which got me nice and sweaty. Then back to these horridly good ropes which kill me with every set, but in the best way possible. I feel like I'm improving already.

In between the ropes, I did reverse lunges with dumbbells, some cable work, and used the balanced trainer to squat with 5kgs and bring it back up again. It's still a new program, so I'm really loving the challenge of it all at the moment.

My next set was pull-ups on the squat rack (with a band to help) and some push-ups using these handles. These really get your abs burning! Highly recommend using these for an extra challenge.

I really apologize for how bad these photos are! They're just from my phone and the gym's lighting is terrible #fitnessbloggerproblems. Anyway, my last set was some bicep curls since they always make me feel a bit bad-ass. And just some cable over-head pulls to get those underarms tightened.

Feeling pretty tired now! Practically clinging to my protein to give me some life back.

Bless my gym for having GHD straighteners in the women's changing rooms! It's a life-saver when you need to get ready quickly. I need to invest in one for myself. Maybe a birthday present this year :)

And I'm human again! Just keeping it casual today with my outfit. It's absolutely freezing outside, so I just wanted some layers.

Time to organize myself and my blog for the next few weeks. I do this every Monday after the gym to help me visualize how my blog will look. I find it so helpful to have a board behind my laptop to help me stay focused on my goals as I work.

My Mum came home and brought me some Tamarillos! They're my all-time favorite fruit that you can only get in autumn-winter. They're super sour and sweet, and taste beyond amazing with vanilla ice-cream. I'm so happy right now!

After a massive tidy of my room, I'm finally sitting down to have my lunch. It's the yummy meal prep I did yesterday and it's super spicy as always with me. I'm quite hungry after going hard at the gym, so I've gotten through it pretty quickly. Also getting my daily fix of the latest Mr Ben Brown vlog and catching up on the new video from the Blossom Twins : )

Third coffee of the day. This stuff is productivity gold, am I right? Lots of blog work to be done.

I have been looking forward to this snack all day! Just like yesterday, I'm having a flat-bread with home-made hummus and it's hitting the spot nicely. I always crave carrot sticks in the afternoons as well, so I had some of those too. Also been playing old Sacconejoly vlogs in the background while I work. Anyone else love YouTube to listen to?

Off to my other job now. Let's hope it's a good night! 

Work was actually pretty good tonight, although we did get rained on as we walked back to the car. But it made for the perfect excuse to put on my favorite comfy hoodie that I got from the Smithsonian museum in Washington DC. It always reminds me of Captain America, so I love it.

Dinner time! I know it looks like a lot, but it's 80% vegetables. We made quinoa and zucchini fitters with roast vegetables, raw beetroot salad, and cottage cheese with lemon. Of course we sat to watch My Kitchen Rules while we ate it. These girls were making profiteroles and they looked so flipping good!

I always like to have dessert, since it's like my reward for eating healthy all day (80/20 rule!) I had some of the GF carrot cake my Mum made yesterday with Greek yogurt and a tamarillo. I feel like it's been a day of comfort foods and I love it so much. Autumn training really calls for it I think.

So that was my Monday, and a pretty good one too. I hope you guys have a great week!

Let me know what your goals are for it in the comments : )

Steph x.