Daily Blog: Birthday Surprise & Beach Picnic!

Monday, 11 December 2017

Happy Monday Guys!

So, I tried to get up early this morning so I could put together a fun little surprise for Steve. It's his birthday tomorrow, but we will both be working, so today is our celebration day. Yesterday I baked him two layers of banana cake (his favorite) and I did some very amateur decorating this morning. But he requested banana with chocolate frosting, so that's what he got!

Simple breakfast because I've just been snacking on cake icing all morning...

Success! Managed to pull of a little surprise for Steve and I made him a yummy french toast breakfast after blowing out his candles (and of course he had cake.)

Every Monday I meet my Mum after she has finished the first half of her shift at work and we go for a run around the local park. It's a beautiful summers day (about 26*C) so probably a little too hot for running, but we will always go out. My calves are quite sore today, but other than that it was a great run. And I got to work on my tan while I was doing it.

Steve's home from his CrossFit class, we have both had lunch and are now chilling with a lil birthday chocolate. We are watching Fittest On Earth: A Decade of Fitness on Netflix. If you need a little gym motivation, go watch this right now!

I've packed us up a little taco picnic and we are off to the beach! We brought the family dog with us too, that's him in the middle of his favorite hobby: sticking his head out of the car.

Oh, how I've missed the beach! I even went for a little wander in the caves. They have been blocked off for the earthquake risk, but seem to be safe again. I spent my childhood in the rock pools here, so it's a nice treat to be able to wander again.

It was a little cold so we didn't end up staying long. But I totally forgot we had some Magnum ice creams in the freezer and it topped off a perfect day. We might have also had some cake, but hey! It was Steve's birthday so we had to.

Just a quick daily blog today, but that was a very memorable day. We only live 30 minutes max. from the beach, so I think we really need to make the trip more often. And Happy Birthday Steve!!

Steph x.

Happy Blogmas Day 11!

Being Okay With Having Less This Christmas

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Happy Blogmas Day 10! 

This is definitely going to be more of a chatty post, which I probably don't do enough of. This is going to be an honest and personal post and I'm hoping there will be some of you who can relate and maybe feel better about it.
 So grab a cup of tea or coffee, whatever your preference/need, and let's dive in!

I think you guys can get the gist that I LOVE Christmas. December is by far my favorite time of year and not just for the festivities. I also have my birthday (4th) Steve's birthday (12th) Dad's birthday (17th) my brother's birthday (18th) and finally our anniversary on the 18th also. It's a busy month with lots of presents to buy, food to make, and a whole lot of fun to go with it.

Christmas makes me wanna go out and buy fairy lights, all the special chocolates, and spoil my loved ones with the things that they deserve. My family has never made Christmas about the material items, but sometimes you just wanna go all out you know? I was single for so long that I only had to worry about myself and my fam.

But 2017 has been different so far. And that's only because I have fully dived into the adult world by moving in with Steve, which has honestly been the best thing ever. We have our independence from flatmates and parents and it's just bliss. We spent months in cramped rooms and we cherish our house so much. And of course bills come with it, but for me it's worth every penny. 

I think everyone struggles with finances at some point in their lives. I've heard stories of how my own parents made things work while me and my brother were little and they did an amazing job at never letting us feel like we missed out on anything. I have friends and workmates who talk about how expensive things are and it reassures me that I'm not failing. I know my time will come when I don't have to worry about money. But in the meantime, I'm learning how to be okay with having less.

We bought our first Christmas tree together this year, which made me that happiest girl ever. We bought a $10 pack of decorations and I skimmed the charity shops for any cute ones. I think our tree looks absolutely beautiful, especially twinkling away at night time.
Since it fell around my birthday, this was Steve's present to me. It was a little sad not opening any presents in the morning when I woke up, but it's okay.

This time of year I have been absolutely desperate for new running shoes. My calf and Achilles have been killing me since my old shoes are just too worn down now. I had to ask my parents for new ones for Christmas because I can't fork out for a good pair of new ones. They're amazing and are more than happy to.
So that's okay as well.

My point is, I may have had a few nights where I cried because I couldn't buy a new dress for my birthday, or I have had to ask for the things I need, rather than the things I want. But it's okay.

I have a roof over my head that I share with the man that I love. We have decent jobs that we like and enables us to pay rent every week.

So if you ever feel like a failure because you have $5 left on the week you get paid again, don't. Because we all have to learn how to make things work. It makes me feel proud when I can still provide good meals and keep the house moving along nicely. I'm more grateful for the things that I have now and when I actually can go out and buy something for myself, even if it does come from a charity shop.

Remember to take a moment to be grateful for all the little things this holiday season.
Life is good. It will never be perfect, but where's the fun in that? ; )

What are you grateful for?
Steph x. 

Currently I'm...

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Repeating on Spotify...
Reggaeton Lento (Remix)
CNCO + Little Mix

A punnet of fresh boysenberries 

Excited for...
Baking Steve's birthday cake tomorrow 

Work because it's going to be hot in the kitchen!

Happy About...
All the Christmas carols playing in the stores

Netflix Marathoning...
Jane the Virgin and The IT Crowd

Putting off...
Cleaning the kitchen

Obsessed With...
The trailer for the new Maze Runner movie. So can't wait!

Debating whether or not to...
Eat another gingerbread cookie (I did.)

Dreaming About...
All of the delicious food we will get on Christmas day

Thinking Of...
What I need to buy at the supermarket and how I can do it with $20

Proud Of...
My Instagram lately and how the quality is getting better.

Making Plans For...
Possibly going to Hawaii next year for Christmas? 

Watching the Instagram stories of...

Insecure About...
How well my blogmas is being received 

Making It A Goal To...
Be more consistent with CrossFit and work on recovery

My Friend Mel who moved to the states a few months ago. Would have loved to celebrate her birthday with her!

My 3rd coffee of the day

A quick lil post today! Hope you're having an amazing December so far.
Steph x.

2018 Movies I Can't Bloody Wait For!

Thursday, 7 December 2017

It's almost a new year and you know what that means...new movies!
You all know I'm a massive nerd and I love getting excited over fictional characters . 2017 has been pretty great for movies: Spiderman, Thor Ragnarok, Wonder Woman, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, Dunkirk, Beauty and the Beast, Hidden Figures (a must see!) just to name a few. December is usually the time I sit down and chat to you guys about what movies have me running to the cinema. I'm not ashamed to love mainstream movies, so here's all the ones I can't wait for!

Maze Runner: The Death Cure
If you didn't know, I'm a HUGE fan of this series. I've seen the first two movies many many times now, and read the books too. Production got delayed a few times on this one, so we have had to wait even longer. But I'm so excited for this finale and I have the feeling it's going to be epic. The third book is actually my favorite of the three and even though they never stick to the story entirely, I'm excited to see how they play out certain scenes.

The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1
HELL YEAH BABY! You all knew this one was coming, right? I have to admit I was one of those people that has been anxiously waiting for the trailer to drop (and maybe surfed the net when it was leaked...) But this one looks seriously cool! All of the cool characters they have introduced over the last couple years will all be on screen together. I'm personally looking forward to seeing how Groot and the other Guardians of the Galaxy will fit in with the gang. Kinda happy that Cap has a beard now too.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom 
I know the first installment wasn't super-popular, but I actually loved it! I mean there's Chris Pratt, cute baby dinosaurs, and they even got me to have positive feelings for raptors (that absolutely terrified me as a child!) There's a new trailer coming out tomorrow so keep your eyes peeled.

Pacific Rim Uprising
I actually only just watched the first film a few weeks ago, and it was the trailer for the new film that made me watch it. It was one of those movies I had always planned to watch but never got around to it. I really liked it! I'm into my sci-fi actions films and it's a really cool concept. This next one should make for a fun date night.

DeadPool 2 
This is gonna be good! Even my Mum enjoyed the first film. I am so keen for more savage jokes and Ryan Reynold's breaking the fourth wall of Marvel cinema. There's even a kiwi in this one!

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald 
Oh yes. There's nothing quite like sitting down and seeing the Warner Brother's logo over dark clouds. You know magic is about to happen! The first installment was just perfect and I definitely need more of these characters (and the adorable creatures Newt carries in his case.) And you know what else I need? A trailer! Pretty please :)

What films are you gonna be running to in the New Year?
Steph x. 

Happy Blogmas Day 7!

Summer Favorites I'm Living For

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Happy Blogmas Day Six!

I know most of you will be all snuggled up with winter blasting outside, but down here in the southern hemisphere we are enjoying out summer weather while we can! I do miss getting some writing inside while the rain is coming down, although I would never trade it for the sunshine. Lately it had been HOT here, like almost 30*C everyday. It's been blissful being able to put shorts and sandals on to rock the day. 

I thought it would be fun to share what summer is all about for us Kiwis and what my favorite things about this season are. Enjoying the weather in December is a big part of Christmas for us. Be prepared for me to talk too much about food once again (when do I talk about anything else?) 


Hell yeah baby! I think my food obsession started growing up with summer barbecue parties with the family. And it's always the simple food that's the best. I'm talking my Mum's salads, various breads, prawns, scallops, potato salad, grilled potatoes, and any kind of bubbles you want. And the meat eaters are happy of course. You can always go back for seconds and the weather is so nice that you can sit outside. I live for this time of year because it's the best for food!

I can finally wear my SUMMER DRESSES
This time of year is always my favorite for dressing up. Whenever we go on holiday I buy more summer clothes and look forward to wearing them on warm days so much. I've found some personal favorites lately and it makes my day way more fun when I get to wear them.

SUMMER BERRIES! With yogurt, ice cream, porridge, smoothies, whipped cream, and on every single dessert! There's usually a peak in these months where berries are sold for a really good deal, so you can have them for breakfast every single morning. Fresh raspberries are always my favorite and I can eat a whole punnet if I don't stop myself. It's the best time of year for fruit for sure.

*nerd alert* How cool is it that we've been getting a new installment every year in December? And it always falls right on my brother/Dad's birthdays too. It's not just about the geek in me that's always loved the series, but it's become a tradition for the past 2 years to go and see the new movie as a family (once on opening weekend and again on Christmas Eve.) So I'm really looking forward to the fun and the excitement of it all!

Oh I love how I can come from work at 8pm and I feel like I still have my whole evening ahead of me. In winter I always want to get warm again and end up falling asleep in front of the TV after dinner. But at least now I can pot about the garden, do Christmas shopping with Steve, or walk the dog (when I get one :D) The days just seem longer and I feel more productive because the sun makes me happy. Gotta love day light savings!

What are some of your summer favorites you love, and maybe miss a little? 
Steph x. 

A Gift Guide For The Man In Your Life

Monday, 4 December 2017

I'm not normally one to dive into gift guides, but if there's one place under the tree that I struggle to buy for, it's the fella in my life. I mean, most girls are happy with: jewelry, books, candles, fluffy sweaters, or a Disney mug. But boys? They can be tough to buy for this time of year.

I tried to find items that would be a safe bet and that most guys would enjoy opening on Christmas morning(I hope.) They're also pretty budget-friendly, so I'm not gonna expect anyone to go out and buy the new iPhone or a game console. But if you have the resources, go for it! You gotta roll with what your man enjoys doing in his spare time or something fun for the both of you.

If in doubt, get them something silly to make them laugh. Here's a few ideas to get the ball rolling for you:

Video Games: I'm yet to meet a guy that doesn't enjoy setting down for a solid six hours to play a game, so these are always a good choice. And a bonus if you enjoy it too! 

Punderdome Card Game: Because we all get a kick out of bad jokes. Kinda seems like a less-dirty version of Cards Against Humanity, so you can play it with the family without it getting awkward.

A new pair of headphones: I don't know anyone who doesn't currently need a new pair, right? Do some research on this one and make sure you get the right one. 

A whisky bottle: This awesome John Lewis one looks so cool, so both of you will be happy displaying it in the house!

A new shaving kit: Because guys like feeling fresh and looking good too. And if you get him a new razor you could always borrow it to make sure it works properly...

Pick out a cologne you really love. Any time he puts it on you'll love it, and date night will be even spicier. 

How cool is this? I do like it when my man keeps me safe and this would be a great read!

Silly socks: You can never have enough socks! Especially epic ones like these. I personally love it when guys wear silly socks under their suits at fancy events. Makes things more fun. 

Desktop Ping Pong: How fun would it be to bring this out on a Friday night and get a little digital detox? Maybe the winner gets a foot rub from the other.

New coffee gadgets: If he loves a good brew, then there's plenty of cool stuff to update his daily coffee needs. I thought this french press was really classic and it's small so he could take it to work!

100 Places You Must Visit Before You Die Poster: For the guy that has the travel bug, or even a fun way to document your adventures together. You get to peal off the places you've been to show the illustration behind it. So cool!

For the kid in him, Lego: How can you all go wrong? I think we are all still hoping to get toys for Christmas, so why not treat him to something awesome? And on the bright side, it might keep him entertained for a few hours!

I hope this was a helpful guide for guys! Leave me some comments below of any ideas you've had and we can help each other :)
Steph x. 

26 Years Old: The Scary, The Exciting, & What Comes Next

Yep, another birthday posts where the blogger complains about getting old and OH MY GOD I'M GETTING CLOSE TO 30!

But before I scare you off, I should let you know that I'm actually excited for the second half of my twenties. I mean, 20-25 has been a journey of university, travel and figuring out what it means to be an adult. What I've actually come to realize is that no one really becomes an adult in these years. And hardly any of us actually have a plan, or plans that work out perfectly. If we're lucky to find a passion along the way that might carry us down a different path than we thought. I've definitely become more of who I'm meant to be through starting this blog. I know people say technology is bad blah, blah, blah. But I get such a thrill out of creating content, making friends who live on different continents who share my passion, and just finding a place in an online community. It's made this part of my twenties so satisfying and feeling like I'm on the right track. 

25 was an eventful year when I look back at it:

Moved in with the love of my life
Completed a Spartan Race
Survived another natural disaster
Lost our old boy Bud
Progressed a lot in CrossFit
Hawaiian family holiday 
Starting the process of getting our puppy
Photographed a wedding
Competed in a rowathon for charity 
Took at least three road trips
Started a new job
Renting for the first time
Came 3rd in my first CrossFit competition
Overcame a knee injury

And ate about 20 Dominoes pizzas...

At 26 I can honestly say that I'm happy. Is my life where I would ideally want it? No, but who actually has their sh*t together completely at any given time? So we may not have much money left at the end of the week or I'm not blogging full-time, but life is still good! Great even! 

I have a beautiful home that I share with the most amazing guy that completes me. It's the exact direction I wanted my life to go in a year ago and I'm bloody happy with how it worked out. I have been able to create work hours with my boss that suit my lifestyle perfectly so that I can still blog and cook during the day. And my amazing Mum still buys me veggies and bakes me banana bread. Bless her. 

I think what I'm most excited about though, is that these coming years are going to be the most exciting. This is the time when I will get to plan a beautiful wedding that I've dreamed about since I was little. Not to go all cheesy on you, but this girl has always been obsessed with all the details before and on the big day. And babies have been on my brain lately (not yet people!) so it's nice thinking of having a cute little family in my later twenties. 
No rush for either, but just knowing that some big milestones are on the horizon is pretty cool. I'm looking at all those cute pictures on Pinterest thinking, "Yup that's gonna be me later!" 

Here's to the next four years of my 20's and whatever adventures that come my way. 
I'll be ready for them <3

Steph x. 
How did you guys feel getting past 25? 

Daily Blog: The Best Mexican & Gingerbread Cookies!

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Happy Sunday Everyone!

My body clock can never sleep past eight, so I'm up at a reasonable hour this morning. I wasn't able to post my second day of blogmas, so it's pretty much the first thing I'm doing this morning. I was in the sun far too much yesterday and ended up being really dehydrated. But my amazing boyfriend took care of me and I'm feeling a lot better today. 

Advent calendar time! Yes, it's a Minion one and I love it. 

It's going to be another hot day today, so I'm watering my garden early. I planted some tomatoes a few weeks ago and they're going great! I'm slowly learning some gardening skills from my Mum and hopefully will be able to produce something at the end of it. I usually can't keep plants alive, so I'm proud of how it's growing!

I'm not super-hungry this morning, so I'm not making a huge effort with breakfast. I was craving toast so I had some with banana. And yesterday my Mum was lovely enough to buy me a paleo/gluten-free salted caramel muffin from our favorite smoothie stop, which should fill me right up.

CrossFit HQ are doing a worldwide Lift-Off competition for all of the affiliate gyms, so I headed down to check out everyone from my box who was competing. I'm not confident in my lifting skills yet and my body is wrecked this week, which means I just wanted to be a spectator. But maybe next year I'll try!

I had to leave early so that I could get ready for my birthday lunch! My Aunt and Uncle are driving up to see us and we are going to my favorite restaurant. Really looking forward to eating lots of delicious food!
(side note: one of the rare occasions my hair isn't in a pony tail and gym clothes are no where to be seen.)

The tacos here are amazing and this time I got the turmeric prawn one that came with a mango salsa. It was so so good, but that was only my starter. Next came mushroom and leek chimichangas and oh wow were they awesome! If you've never had them, they're a filled tortilla that's been wrapped and fried, then served with a dipping sauce. Highly recommended! 

You can never leave without devouring some of their churros. Still not up to the Disneyland standard, but they're pretty damn good. 

I had some free time when I got home and thought I'd get all festive by making gingerbread cookies! There's a recipe I've been wanting to try out and maybe put on the blog this month.

So far, so good, although the recipe seems a little dry.

OMG the house smells so amazing! It's the best thing about baking cookies. They taste pretty good too!

Mum and Dad came over and brought me these adorable cupcakes :) They wanted to make sure I had cake for my birthday tomorrow. Of course they got me the one with the dog on it!

Steve came home from work and then we decided to venture out and see if we could find balloons for my birthday. Our first stop was unsuccessful and we got a little discouraged. But we went to the supermarket for dinner ingredients and found them!

We are having pizzas tonight, which I haven't made in a while. Steve loves them and I think the secret is these garlic filled pita breads. Here's how I do it:

Start with a really good pizza sauce base

Add a base of cheese

Then top with your favs (veggies for me/ a mountain of meat for Steve)

Top with lots of cheese, a sprinkle of dried oregano and bake until crispy!

We made a little blanket fort to get all cozy and eat our pizza in while we watch a movie. It's a perfect Sunday evening!

I hope you enjoyed Blogmas day three! I promise there's Christmas-themed posts coming.
Hope you're all having a fabulous December so far!

Steph x.