Top 3 Photo-Editing Apps I Can't Blog Without!

Sunday, 30 October 2016

A highlight for blogging for me has always having the opportunity to get my camera out and create images to match my blog. They don't always turn out how I would like them to, but I have learned so much since I began Hello, Steph. Probably the most important lesson has been: Always edit your photos! Beautiful imagery is one of the best ways to show off your skills and invite people to read your content, so never under-estimate a little tinkering. It's what turns average photos into Instagram masterpieces.

 Since I don't have Photoshop, I have always turned to apps for my editing needs. Over the year and a half that I've been blogging, I've managed to find ones that can work their magic well. Being in app form I can easily edit while I'm out and about, waiting somewhere, or just bored on break at work.
All of these apps are free to download and are easy to use. They have come to the rescue time and time again to help me work some magic on my photos.


I know this is a blogging favorite and I'm really glad that I found it when I did. What I love most about this app is the adjustment features. They're so easy to use and I find them to be really gentle on your pictures (because nobody wants over-saturation, right?) It makes for quick editing that's done well. It's my go-to and I can't blog without anymore!


If you are after bright-white flat lays, then editing your photos with this one will do the trick. Once I've used Afterlight and the brightness still isn't good enough, I simply adjust the exposure a tiny bit and the difference is amazing! The only reason I don't use this app for my general editing is because the adjustments can be really intense and it's so much harder to get the photo balanced. But if you have a photo that really needs help, it will do the job well.


I'm not usually one to put filters over my blog photos but this app has made me change my mind. It just popped up on my Instagram as an ad one day and I gave in. There are some really gorgeous filters on this app, most of which just add different color tones and brighten up the photo. You can buy different packs, but I've been using the free ones and they're still amazing. The app has adjustment options as well, which I find really useful if I'm still not quite happy after putting on a filter. The clarity option is really good! If you need a quick all-in-one editing app, then this is definitely worth the download.

So, those are my go-to editing apps that help me take my images to a new level. I'd love to know how you guys like to edit your photos? What systems do you use?

Steph x. 

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Daily Blog: #Flexfriday, Hair Treatment, & An Exciting Package!

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Happy Friday! 

Look guys, I'm having something different for breakfast! I didn't feel like porridge this morning, so I opted for these Sultana Bran bites with banana and strawberry. It's nice to change things up a bit. Delicious too!

While doing some blog commenting/Twitter chatting, I had a realization that I didn't having anything special to wear for my 25th birthday coming up. Since the shops in New Zealand never have a great selection, I went straight to ASOS to get browsing. Not gonna lie, the red dress is calling to me. Might be perfect for showing off my gym work! 

I've been a little lost at the gym lately, so I thought it would be a good idea to write down a workout plan for today. I really need to make it a habit, as opposed to me just aimlessly wandering around the weight section. It's so much better when you have something to focus on!

I bought this hair treatment yesterday while we were out. My hair is in the damaged/dry stage so I need to keep conditioning it the best I can. Let's see how it goes!

I'm changing up my routine today and going to the gym after I meet Mum for a run (instead of before.) Since I won't be eating lunch until later, I'm having something now. I'm getting a protein hit of two eggs and soy milk scrambled with a generous sprinkle of chili flakes. I'm having it with an English muffin and avocado. Yum!

The weather was amazing today so we had a really great run. It was good to stretch out my legs after yesterdays workout. Time for a coffee and some healthy treats! I swear I could live off of the peanut butter protein balls they make here! We also tried one of their hemp cookies and it was so good.

Time for an arm session! I've got my workout plan that I wrote out earlier and my Spotify playlist. I'm good to go!

I started with a 500m sprint on the rowing machine to warm up.

Pull ups x10
Ball throws 4kg x10
3 sets of each

Bench Press 10kg x8-10reps
4 sets

Bicep Curls x 20reps 7kg dumbbells
3 sets

Lateral Dumbbell Raises 4kg
x10-12 reps, 3 sets

Frontal Dumbbell Raises 5kg
x12-15 reps, 3 sets

Pushups x20

Over-head Pulls 23kg
x20reps, 4 sets

PowerBag Lifts 20kg
x8-10reps, 3 sets

Deadlifts 35kg
x8-10reps, 5 sets

Russian Twists 10kg Dumbbell
Knee to Elbow
x 30reps
3 sets of each

That was such a great arm session, I feel really good now. I made sure to roll out my shoulders and stretch my arms. There were so many people killing it at the gym today. It's such a contagious environment!

Gotta have my aminos & protein shake so I don't lose any gains! 

Happy #FlexFriday! When I first got into fitness it was all about getting fit and losing weight. Overtime that's changed into being addicted to getting stronger and pushing my body's limits. Lifting makes me feel like a superhero and I love it.

Had the quickest shower, chucked on some semi-comfy clothes and put on a natural look before I head off to work. I'm still in love with this bomber jacket!

Was in such a rush to get ready that I had to eat my lunch in the car! Thank goodness for meal prep.

Guess what arrived while I was away at work?! No it's not a box of Pro Bars (although that would be amazing!) It's something super-exciting that I can't share with you yet, but will be turned into a blog post soon. Lucy you are the best!!

Having an easy dinner of an egg muffin with salmon, avocado and sweet chili sauce inside. Mum also grilled up these veges with ginger and other good stuff. I'm also excited because it's Spooky Week on Dan & Phil Games! They're playing the new Five Nights At Freddy's game, which are my favorite to watch. The jump-scares are hilarious!

Dessert time! I was naughty this week and bought some mint chocolate ice cream (my fav.) I also sprinkled a Tim Tam biscuit on top, just because it's Friday.

Its pouring rain outside, but I'm all snuggled up in bed watching The Big Bang Theory. It's the best way to end the week!

I hope everyone had a great week! Who else is excited for the weekend?
Steph x.

November Goals: Blogmas & A New Me!

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Hello, Everyone!

What a month it's been! Good, bad, and absolutely heart-breaking, but I think I've come out the other side stronger than ever. I struggled a little with my blog in October with inspiration and getting views. It was probably a point where some may have given up, but not me! I am determined to keep going and always improve my blog in any ways that I can. I have some personal goals I want to share with you this month as well. I absolutely love this time of year, so I'm planning on making the most of it.

Embracing my blonde-ness 

If you follow me on Twitter you'll know that I recently went from brunette to blonde in one day. I've been wanting to do it all year and the time was finally right. All I can say is that I love it! I feel like a brand new person with all new confidence. Almost like I'm becoming my braver alter-ego (she's an absolute bad-ass.) It sounds cliche, but I really want to have fun with my new look and not take life for granted. I need to take more risks, be more honest and upfront. Hell, I might even ask the guy I like if he feels the same. I'm almost halfway to age 30 now (oh god) so I need to be a little more reckless while I still can. I've been using this confidence more lately and it has definitely paid off already!

Fitness is my passion, so I'm going to use it

I've been thinking a lot about how I want my blog to grow and what my "thing" is that sets me apart. You should always write about things that you love because it always comes through clearly in your writing. I'm all about the health & fitness side of life lately and I really want to put out more posts about it. I'm talking my favorite workout moves, recipes I'm using, accessories to try out, favorite clothing items, etc. I'll still be writing about my journal love-affair, geeky stuff, and life lessons. But expect a lot more fitness posts in the near future!

Getting ready for Blogmas!

I love this time of year! Christmas is so much bigger in the UK than NZ, so to get festive with other bloggers makes me get into the spirit of it all. Last year I made my first attempt at Blogmas and it was only successful because I spent November prepping for it. I'm not sure if I will aim to blog for the whole month (it takes the fun away from posting) but I really want to add in extra Christmas posts to my usual schedule. I'm already planning some good ones so get ready!

More book posts

I'm slowly getting back into reading and I've even picked up some exciting books lately. Book blogs are some of my favorite to read and I love writing about my bookworm side. It would definitely help me to get more reading done if I go back to the reading challenges I used to post! Keep your eyes peeled for some coming soon.

Kick my anxiety to the curb 

In keeping with the "New Me" theme of November, I've been trying really hard lately to stop over-thinking everything and just doing it. So far nothing has gone wrong (touch wood) and I've had nothing to worry about. One thing that makes my anxiety worse is tip-toeing around a subject with someone. This month I am going to work on being more straight-forward, asking for what I want instead of just hoping, and train my brain to stop the worrying before it starts. Who knows where it might lead!

What are some of your November goals?
Steph x.

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Daily Blog: Chia Pudding, Healthy Waffles, & Lots of Reading!

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Happy Tuesday!

Just my usual porridge this morning and coffee made better by being in my Superman mug. 

Shooting some blog photos outside before I head to the gym. I've decided that this camera doesn't like it when I put it on a self-timer. All my pictures came out fuzzy and out of focus. Luckily my Dad came to the rescue and helped me get some good shots. Thanks Dad! 

It's leg day! Yay!

I'm gonna go hard today and really push some higher reps for toning.
Here's what I did:

Warmup: 5 min treadmill run

25kg x 12 reps, 3 sets
40kg x 8 reps
50kg x 4reps, 2 sets

5 min SkillMill walk (strapped in/level 6 resistance)

Ab Work:
Russian Twists x30/Knee to elbow x20
3 sets

Leg press:
80kg x 20, 3 sets
120kg x 8, 2 sets

Plate Drags 15kg, 3 laps

5 min SkillMill walk (strapped in/level 6 resistance)

Hip Thrusts 40 kg x20 reps, 4 sets

Split Squats, 8 kg kettlebells
10 each leg, 3 sets

Ab work again

My trainer popped in to say hello to everyone today after being on holiday for months. It was so good to see him, but he won't be working until next year now :( I might need to find a boxing gym or get one of the other trainers to help me. I need a trainer, but none of them are as good as him...

When I got home it was so lovely and sunny that I decided to work outside again. I also picked up a coffee from my cafe to help motivate me to write. There's so many posts I want to get through today! 

It's time for lunch, so of course I'm going to spend it soaking up the sun. I'm also having time away from my screen and getting through a couple more chapters of The Raven King. I've missed these characters so much!

Relaxing time is over now. I grabbed a tamarillo and now I have to get back to writing.

Having another little break away from my screen to do some reading. I'm trying to get through 100 pages today, so this is working out well.

I've been working away on posts and now I'm hungry again. I really felt like waffles, so I put together a quick mix (thank goodness for the Nutri-Bullet!) I used: 1 small banana, half a scoop of chocolate whey powder, 1 egg, 1/4 cup oats, 1 Tbsp of Greek yogurt, 2 Tbsp almond milk & a little gluten-free flour to thicken it up.

They turned out so good! I love it when I don't use much flour and they get dense in the middle. This is guilt-free eating at it's finest.

I know it got bad reviews, but I wanted to watch Fantastic Four again. The cast make the movie for me. I may or may not have a crush on Miles Teller...

I've been wanting to make chia pudding for a while and this afternoon I finally have some time. It's super-simple to make, really. Just mix chia seeds with a can of coconut milk and a couple tablespoons of maple syrup in a bowl. Pour into serving glasses or a container and leave to set for at least four hours in the fridge.

Time for yet another snack (I'm a hungry girl.) I was craving these vegetarian sausages that taste amazing! Just add barbecue sauce, bread and enjoy!

Managed to catch the end of a very beautiful sunset.

It's been a view days since my hair was dyed, so I'm just using this Lush conditioner as a hair treatment. I really don't want it looking damaged, so hopefully all of the amazing ingredients in this will do the trick. I'm leaving it in for about 20 minutes then rinsing it out.

Since I have to wait for my hair, I thought I might as well take the time to do a face mask as well! My skin could really use some TLC right now.

I'm not super-hungry but I decided to finally have some dinner while I watch Chuck. It's just bean chili with fish on top and a little salad. It's all leftovers but it actually tasted great together.

Time to try my chia pudding! It came out so good, I just add some fruit and a little coconut on top. This is one of the easiest/most healthy desserts I've ever made. It just might be my new favorite! I made it through about 80 pages of my book today, which isn't a bad effort. The further I get into it, the more I want to read! #bookwormproblems

I'm so happy with how much blog work I got done today. Here's hoping the rest of the week is the same!

Any recommendations on what book I should read next?
Steph x.