365 Days Of Happy: December 2017

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Oh hello there 2018, you certainly crept up on us!

The past year has been so fun, tough at times, but worth every tear for where I am coming into this new year. I keep saying it over, but I'm so excited for what the future has in store for us. Before I get all soppy on you let's see what fun December was:

1. Nothing like that first  advent calendar chocolate of the month!

2. We picked up Bond from the doggie groomers and took him with us to get smoothies.

3. Birthday lunch with my family at my favorite spot we come to every year. The Chimichangas are to die for!

4. My 26th Birthday <3 Lunch with Mum, sweaty workout, and dinner with my love.

5. Came home from work and Steve had organized a birthday surprise for me that included Harry Potter Scrabble. 

6. We put our Christmas stockings up!

7. Completed the famous CrossFit workout "Murph" and smashed it!
1 mile run
100 pull-ups
200 pushups
300 air squats

8. This super-hot weather has me in a summery mood and I love it. 

9. Got some post-run aminos from the smoother bar we love and picked out my Christmas day outfit at H&M. 

10. Did an awesome Sunday workout at CrossFit with running and kettle-bells. I got the most rounds!

11. Celebrated Steve's birthday today! I made him a birthday surprise and we went to the beach for a picnic. 

12. Late night Indian dinner treat. Malai Koftas give me life.

13. Got to eat my lunch in bed the accidentally fell asleep. Felt good having a power nap!

14. Grocery shopping day :)

15. Did a lil Christmas shop for our boxes I'm putting together.

16. Finally saw the latest Star Wars movie! It was beautiful.

17. Had a great catch-up with my girls and made epic nachos for dinner.

18. Did a deadlift session in our home gym and managed to get up to 95kg (without my proper lifting belt too.)

19. Ollie the cat decided to play on the clothes horse while I was doing washing and made it into his own jungle gym. Too cute!

20. It's funny what happens when you take away a toxic person and your environment becomes enjoyable again. 

21. I put together our Christmas Eve boxes and bought a new Star Wars phone case for $5.

22. Christmas carols were playing all the way home from work and it was bliss. 

23. Had the BEST tropical smoothie, shopped for the boys Christmas outfits and had dominoes for dinner. 

24. Baked gingerbread cookies and made a trifle for the big day tomorrow!

25. Christmas Day! Annual run with Mum in the morning, a big brunch, and a hilarious game of Wii sports with the whole family. 

26. Super-productive yet lazy boxing day: cleaned the house, wrote blog posts, followed new bloggers and consumed a lot of leftovers.

27. Spent time writing out a reading wish-list for 2018!

28. Bought my new daily journal to stay organized next year, had delicious mushrooms on toast, and Mum bought me new running shoes!

29. Convinced Steve to watch Hocus Pocus with me and had a cheeky McDonald's dessert run.

30. Went to the local plant shop and had fun picking out some new flowers for my garden with Mum.

31. New Years was well spent with good friends and my favorite boy. Lots of laughs and a midnight trip to the park. 

That's it, a whole year of happy times recorded on my blog! Would you guys like me to continue this series or leave it here? Let me know in the comments.

I can't thank you enough for your support this year. Bring on 2018!

Steph x. 

Habits I Want To Stick To In 2018

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Whenever it comes to resolutions or the old "New Year, New Me" mantra, I've been known to struggle. 

I exercise regularly, try to eat as clean as I can (well, as much as possible on a budget) and I try to be a nice person to my friends, family and co-workers. And as I sat down looking at the few days left of 2017 I started to wonder who I wanted to be in the coming year. 

I like myself just fine. I mean, I'm far from perfect and I have plenty of weak moments on the daily. But in terms of new?  I'm not pressuring myself to have my sh*t together every minute of the day. I like who am. 

I don't need to be new, but I CAN be better. And to do that, I need to start small.

Put dishes straight into the dishwasher

I know I used to get this from my Mum five times a day, but now that I'm in charge of my own home I'm realizing that maybe she had a point. Even after a single day, dishes just mount up and slowly take over your kitchen. Doing a little bit at a time works wonders, because no one likes dealing with dirty dishes, right?

Arrive at work BEFORE I start, not ten minutes fashionably late

A common trait that runs in my family and one day I'm probably going to get into real trouble for it. I think we all have that thought of "I'm not leaving until the last minute possible" or "Don't worry, you have plenty of time." And then you once again have to stroll into work like you're meant to be ten minutes late. Oops. I'll do better next time. I hope.

Make a blog calendar at the start of each month

Because I LOVE working with notebooks, and I LOVE visualizing all my ideas for posts.
2018 will be the year my blog stays on track and will return to regular programming.

Drink 3 litres of water a day and keep to a schedule

Anyone else get to three in the afternoon and realize how dehydrated you feel because oh crap you've had ten cups of coffee today but absolutely no water?! Same. What I should do is keep to this.

7am: 500ml
9am: 500ml
11am: 500ml
1pm: 500ml
3pm: 500ml
6pm: 500ml
8pm: 500ml
9pm: 500ml

You get it? I know when the best times for me to drink water are, so I gotta hit that schedule.

Spend more time in my garden 

Can you believe I'm actually growing baby tomatoes and chili right now? Me! The girl who couldn't keep a single succulent alive now has a flourishing garden. Let's keep this green thumb business going, shall we?

Plan Instagram pics for the week so I can stay consistent

I am so terrible at keeping my content up during the week. My Saturday food adventures with Mum provide the best stuff, but if I don't keep my mind on ideas I forget to follow through. Going have a notebook for this one!

Put only good karma out into the universe

The most important habit to stick to a lesson I won't forget. At my family Christmas I snuck away some of my Mum's tequila and boy was she mad! That same day I saw that the breeder of Tibetan terriers we are looking at have a litter of pups coming in February. I, of course, emailed straight away and the response made me feel like I was going to miss out and all because of the bad karma I had set out the night before. I'm a believer in what goes around comes around, so that is going to be my main 2018 focus. Do the right thing, be kind, help people, and stay positive.

What habits will you be sticking to in 2018?
Steph x.

My 2017 Gratitude List

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Here's me reluctantly admitting that Christmas is over, but oh boy am I happy for the New Year!

I was planning on making my usual yearly review about why it was my best year yet (life still gets better every year) but I came across this post by A Rosie Outlook and thought it was a much better idea! So credit goes to her for the post you are about to read.

There have been so many blessings this year, hard times too, but looking at all the happy things has me feeling so grateful. This time a year ago I was still at home, one dog left, just got together with Steve, working part-time, a newbie at a CrossFit, and my Instagram was only just above-average. To say that I'm in a different place now is an understatement and it all feels right. I always love this time of year where you wonder what you'll be writing in your new yearly round-up.

Here are the 50 things I'm most grateful for in 2017:

1. Moving out of home and into the perfect house for me and Steve

2. Road trips to Dunedin

3. The chance to complete a Spartan Race

4. Getting full-time work

5. Jane the Virgin on Netflix

6. Paddle boarding on Kailua beach in Hawaii

7. Working hard on an Instagram feed that I'm proud of

8. All those Crossfit classes

9. Carly Rowena keeping me motivated as a blogger/in fitness

10. New foodie places we found in the city

11. Our family adopting Bond

12. Hitting 700 followers

13. Epic shopping day in Hawaii with Mum and the boys

14. Cozy blankets

15. Sunny Spring weather

16. Competing in a CrossFit comp and coming 3rd

17. Slow cookers

18. Ice cream dates by the beach

19. Night Noodle Market

20. Wireless bras

21. Instagram stories

22. Croissants for breakfast on a Sunday

23. Having my own kitchen

24. My Mum always shouting lunch because otherwise I'd be too poor to leave the house

25. Little Mix

26. My saint boyfriend putting up with my crazy hormone-episodes

27. Original source shower gels

28. Kmart home-wares stepping up their game

29. Making new friends (especially you Mel)

30. Clearance sections

31. Vegetarian bacon

32. Late night McDonald's dessert runs

33. Playing UNO with Steve

34. Thor Ragnarok

35. Queenstown marathon run

36. Days of blogging in bed and marathoning The Big Bang Theory

37. Avocado on toast

38. Emailing a dog breeder for our dream dog

39. Puppy-sitting for friends/relatives dogs

40. Discovering Acacia Brinley (follow her!)

41. Beautiful sunrises after an early workout

42. Being able to kick into a handstand

43. Food shopping (the best kind)

44. Having a scare and realizing I do want my own lil family soon

45. Getting back into blogging after a long burnout

46. Turmeric lattes

47. When Ollie the cat chooses me for cuddles

48. Charity shops

49. Buying our first Christmas tree

50. Everyone (IRL or online) that has made me smile and laugh in 2017

Going into 2018 I'm more confident as an adult, a blogger, an athlete, a girlfriend (wife skills improving all the time) and as a woman. At the beginning of the year there were a lot of uncertain things that would come in time, so I feel great now that it all worked out how it was meant to.

I LOVE the feeling of a new year and what adventures await.

Goals for next year? 

1000 followers here and on Instagram would be bloody great.

Get stronger.

Write heaps.

But most importantly, make lots of memories.

Have a Happy New Year Everybody!
Steph x. 

What's on your 2017 gratitude list?

Making Christmas Eve Boxes!

Friday, 22 December 2017

Not long until Christmas now guys! 

I'm always looking for new traditions to make each year. Big or small, it's fun to start new memories. While I was browsing Pinterest the other month I came across the idea of "Christmas Eve Boxes" and knew that I had to make it happen. 

I love surprises and/or surprising people I care about. This is a really lovely way to enjoy the festivities before the big day and get into the spirit. I will definitely be putting these together when I have children and put all kinds of goodies in the boxes for them to enjoy.



These boxes don't have to be expensive either. You have all of November/December to collect little things to put into them. You could pick up 1-2 items per week and before you know it you'll have a full box! 

Ideas of box stuffers:

Fav Christmas chocolates

Marshmallows for toasting


Festive socks

New Decorations

Christmas crackers

New pajamas 

A small gift 

A Christmas movie to watch

Hot chocolate mix

Movie snacks


Christmas cookies

What do you think of the idea? Let me know what traditions you have on Christmas Eve.

Merry Christmas! Steph x. 

Christmas Q&A With The Blossom Twins!

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Hello Everyone! 
The countdown to Christmas is on, who's excited?! I've got a few more festive-themed posts coming before the big day. I really wanted to get more bloggers involved in my Blogmas this year. I thought a Q&A would be a fun way to learn more about Christmas traditions from around the world. We have a summer Christmas here, so I love hearing about what other families do to celebrate. 

Of course I had to ask the lovely Blossom Twins, Lucy and Kelly, a few questions about what this season means to them. Especially with their Italian heritage! I asked them a bunch of festive questions and loved reading their answers. I hope you do too and make sure you check out their amazing blog


What's the first thing you do on Christmas morning?

We usually wake up at the same time as our little sister, so we go downstairs, make coffee and either listen to the music channels or see if Harry Potter is on, while we wait for everyone else to wake up. Then we open a few presents before helping Mum cook our family lunch. This is our favorite time, helping her make our traditional salad while dancing around the kitchen listening to the Overtones. 

This will be the first year, we will be in England, but in our own houses, so we will be starting new traditions. We will probably wake up with our husbands, have a nice breakfast and then walk through the park up to Mum and Dad's. Knowing us, we will be up extra early as we won't want to keep our sister Jen waiting! It's hard to break tradition. 

Have you ever been away from home for Christmas?

We have yes. Both of us have experienced a Christmas in Virginia with our husband's families, each on different years. We love our in-laws and are very lucky, so we had lots of fun getting to know their traditions. 

Finish the sentence: It doesn't feel like Christmas unless...

Our Nanna and Grandad's back room is full of boxes of Pandoro and Panettone (traditional Italian Christmas cakes.)

What would your dream advent calendar be filled with? 

Ooh lets see, probably an Italian Baci calendar. That would be pretty cool. They are hazelnut kisses and are our favourite chocolate ever. So many memories are attached to them, so they are the first thing that come to mind.

I know you have an Italian background. Are there any traditions you bring to Christmas? 

Yes!!! We always have plenty of the aforementioned Pandoro cakes and Nanna will decorate one the traditional Italian way with her custard, marsala wine and strawberries. It’s our favourite cake in the world. We also always have Christmas lunch, not dinner. Italians always have a bigger lunch and that’s what we’re used to, so we eat at around 11:30. In Italy they celebrate the Befana which is on 6th Jan, so our Nanna will always give us a card on that day and we take down our tree then too. It’s a big deal to her.

 A white Christmas or a summer one? 
Definitely a white one, even though we can’t remember the last recent one we had. We do have memories of being pulled on sleds to Nanna and Grandads one year when we were younger, when we used to have Christmas lunch at their house, so we did have a white Christmas day at least once in our memory. Usually it snows in late January, early February here. If we’re lucky.

 What’s your most treasured ornament on your tree? 
We have snowflake ornaments that our Nanna Knott gave us when we were younger, and they mean a lot to us. That’s our Nanna from our Dad’s side, who passed away 10 years ago. In fact, the Christmas tree we adore and have at our Mum and Dad’s house, we’ve had for the last 27 years but only found out the other day that it belonged to our Nanna and Grandad George, but Nanna gave it to us when we were 3, because she got a fiberoptic one. That makes it extra special to us now. The whole tree is overcrowded with ornaments that are over 20 years old. Dad keeps saying we need to replace it but we’re not ready for that yet, even though Jen – our little sister – has a great idea for what to do with the ornaments when we do. Think Christmas shadow boxes.

 If you could only eat one brand of chocolate in December, which one would you choose? 

Perugina Baci, for the reason stated earlier and because they are delicious! We always have to have a box on our dessert table. 

Is there a present you received as a child on Christmas that you remember most? 

We’re going to have to say the presents we received in Florida because we remember them so clearly. It was the first, and only Christmas, as kids that Mum and Dad actually took us away on Christmas day. We did it once and just like ourselves now, our Mum didn’t like being away from her Mum and Dad, so we never did it again. But, we think the reason for going was to go to Disneyworld and that was our present, which was very awesome and amazing of our Mum and Dad. However, we remember on Christmas morning we woke up to Power Ranger annuals. Now, these annuals are what we remember mostly and we still own them to this day. We loved Power Rangers and were so excited. A few years later, we got to visit Lapland and we got Tina Teddy in a Tin (Lucy) and Barbie’s sister Shelly with accessories (Kelly) from Santa, that we were also very pleased with. We have the hilarious video evidence to prove it! :p Lucy still has her Tina Teddy and still adores it.

 And finally, what’s your Christmas anthem you always play? 

This is one of the best questions because it means we get to talk about The Overtones and how amazing they are and how so so so glad we are that they bought out a Christmas album. Before it, Mariah Carey was our jam and don’t get us wrong, we still love that song, it wouldn’t be Christmas without it. But when we put in Good Ol’ Fashioned Christmas by The Overtones, we dance, we sing, our Mum joins in and it’s just pure happiness. Over the last few years we’ve always been disappointed by new Christmas songs, the oldies are the best but when we heard the two new songs The Overtones came up with for their Christmas album, we couldn’t have been more impressed. Instant classics, that are even better when you see them preformed live!!!

A big thank you to Lucy and Kelly for taking the time to answer my questions. It was a lot of fun reading your answers and having you feature on my blog. It's always a pleasure!

Make sure you check out their blog. They just posted an Italian cheesecake recipe that looks amazing!

Feel free to answer any of the questions in the comments below.
Steph x.

15 Thoughts I Had Watching Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Hello, Everyone! Sorry for the break in my Blogmas posts. We lost internet in our house (stupid company) so it made blog work impossible to get done. But I'm back and have some great stuff for you in the coming weeks. And today I'm talking about one of the most exciting movie releases of the year: STAR WARS EPISODE VIII: THE LAST JEDI 

I tried my very hardest not to include any spoilers in this, as I know it can be hard to get to the movies this time of year. And if you're a fan like me you will be avoiding spoilers like the plague. And trust me, there are a lot of OMG moments that you need to see for the first time on screen. 

Here we go:

Damn. Poe is a badass! And he has nice curls.

There's my baby BB-8 being a hero again. Go little one! 


On the edge of my seat with all of these scenes! It's beautiful and intense and I love it. 

Kylo Ren is growing on me. But stop breaking your Mom's heart dude.

I wanted to see Chewie more in this. I miss Chewie. R2-D2 as well. 

Rose is so cute. I wasn't sure how I felt about bringing in more new characters, but she's nice. 

OMG just tell Rey who her parents are!!

I still want a Porg.

Trying to find parallels between this and Empire Strikes Back but it's really it's own movie and I like that.

Fin is totally different this time. Still protecting Rey, but I loved his new-found confidence.

I love it where Rey touches the rain and smiles. Reminds you of her innocence and how far she is from home.

Red sand battle scene: possibly the most stunning ever. That was genius.

I absolutely need to see this again. So many beautiful moments and scenes that I need to go back to.

But seriously, can I have a Porg? I'll take great care of him. Promise!

Have you seen Episode 8 yet? What were your thoughts?
Steph x.

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!