The Self Love Tag

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Hello, my name is Steph and I love myself. 

It seems almost weird to type that out, only because it's not a phrase you come across often. 
And I don't like that. Let's agree to say it more.

Learning to love yourself takes time, life-experience, and a lot of bravery. But as someone who has made it through to the other side of self-discovery, I can tell you that it is the best thing you will every learn to do. You'll approach everything in life differently and those doubts you used to have don't spoil your fun. You find a lot of peace and your relationships become so much more natural. Self-love is worth the fight through bad days, and I can't explain how great it feels.

When I came across this tag on foodandotherloves blog, I knew I had to answer the questions immediately. I love doing these tags!

1. What is something that is getting you down at the moment?
I'm trying to step out of my comfort zone and do more "adult things" and sometimes I lose a little confidence about whether I can handle it. Of course I know I'll be fine, but it's still scary sometimes.

2. What is something that makes you happy?
Usually I would say dogs or food, but I'm gonna go out of the box here and say looking forward to something. Lately it's been our holiday in Hawaii and then moving into a flat with the BF later in the year. I love having exciting plans for the future, it always makes me work harder and not ever get complacent.

3. Name 3 guilty pleasures.
Spending hours on Pinterest pinning and planning future events definitely comes to mind. It's like making a beautiful mood board for my favorite things and it's oddly satisfying to pin pictures. Kinder chocolate is on the list too. It was a treasured childhood favorite that has never gone away! I still buy Kinder Surprise Eggs when I fill up my car at the petrol station sometimes. My new guilty pleasure has been putting whipped cream on top of an Oreo before I eat it. So good!

4. What is something about yourself that you would like to improve on? 
I think I would like to understand myself better. Sometimes I get emotional over something and I have no idea why. My brain is a funny thing sometimes, so I need to get better at reading it and having more control. It'll help people around me too!

5. When was the last time you belly laughed?
It was definitely a few weeks back when I was hanging out with Steve. I think one of us (probably me) did something embarrassing, but instead of it getting weird we just crack up laughing at each other. I love that I can do that with him, it's the best kind of relationship.

6. What is your biggest insecurity and fear?
Failure 100%. I don't want to look back on my life knowing I disappointed people or never did anything worthwhile. I'm really hard on myself when I make mistakes, whether it's at work or CrossFit. I don't like thinking I can't do something or remain unsuccessful. It definitely drives me to be better and learn from when I do fail.

7. Name a song that always cheers you up when you're down.
Love Myself by Hailee Steinfeld never fails me. It's really fun and upbeat, I've blasted it in the car more times than I can remember.

8. Name 3 things you like about yourself.
1) I'm a pretty good cook. I like food a lot, so it's a good skill to have.
2) My creativity. Writing, photography, drawing, painting, I love my imagination.
3) When I turn into a badass at CrossFit. I like who I am when I'm pushing myself through hard work.

9. What is an achievement that has made you proud of yourself this year?
Coming third at our in-house CrossFit competition was an amazing moment. I felt confident that day, and with all of my progress leading up to it. Getting on that podium was a big deal for me and it made all of that hard work I'd been putting in worth it. I'm far from where I want to be, but I was so damn proud of how I performed that day.

10. Tell us your happiest memory.

There's not any one single moment that comes to mind really, more like a dozen of the happiest times. Like camping with my family and having a bonfire on the beach with marshmallows. Graduating university and seeing my parents proud of me. Running around Hogsmeade Village at Universal Studios and letting my inner ten-year old live her dream. And being in my favorite restaurant with Steve when he said the L word for the first time <3

I hope you enjoyed this tag! Feel free to copy and paste the questions to try it yourself.
Let me know if you do, because I would love to read your answers!
Steph x. 

Hawaii Food Diary: Where To Eat In Waikiki

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

You guys ready for another food diary? I LOVE doing these while I'm on holiday. It combines my love of food, exploring, and constantly taking photos of the plates in front of me. I've found some incredible places on this trip and I can't wait to share each of them with you. Food is such an important part of any holiday experience and it allows you to explore a new location in a totally new way. This time in Hawaii we have gone back to some old favorites, while also spending more time hunting out the best spots to eat at. Here's the start of my Hawaiian food series:

We always choose to rent apartments when we travel for a few reasons. One being that it's much cheaper, two because the location is often better, and three being that they usually come with a kitchen. Making your own breakfast while on vacation is actually pretty good! I get the comfort of having my oats and you get to try the fresh fruit while you're here. By the way, Hawaiian bananas are the best! They're so sweet and delicious. Plus we got 2 big punnets of strawberries for $7, which is unheard of at home. So good starting my with something familiar and healthy (just in case I get tempted later!)

Kona Coffee Purveyors
Time for a stop at our favorite coffee house! If you like a good cup of strong Hawaiian coffee that is treated so beautifully, then Kona is for you. Not only that, as we walking in the scent of freshly baked croissants hit us and we instantly went to the cabinet to see what they had. I started with a cold brew drink (so good) then Steve and I shared two flavored croissants: pineapple & coconut, chocolate & banana. Both were amazing and just the treat we needed after a sweaty run. 

Waikiki Beachside Bistro 
We have walked past this place so many times, not realizing that it was a hidden gem. After having some fun in the water, we all got peckish and decided to try the burger joint on the corner. If you're swimming on the main part of Waikiki beach, it's right behind the lifeguard station. They serve lighter meals as well as plates that make you wanna dig in. Everyone loved their burgers and the onion ring were some of the best I've had. My lunch was the blacked "catch of the day" plate, which was so filling and delicious. It was fresh and just what I needed to recharge on a hot day. Don't overlook this place because they know their way around a grill. 

Leonard's Bakery 
When you're scrolling food blogs to see where to eat in Hawaii they all mention the same place: Leonard's. It looks just like a humble, and fun, bakery, and all of their famous malasadas are made fresh. Ours came out piping hot, but we were too busy drooling over them to wait until they were cool. Let me tell you, they lived up to the hype! Slightly crispy on the outside with a delicious churro-like taste to the centre. If I hadn't eaten so much at lunch I would be going back in for seconds! They only cost $1.25 each but we bought a dozen of them because we knew we would want more later. This place does get busy, so try be there in the late afternoon to beat the crowds. 

International Market-Place, The Street
This is a relatively new part of the Waikiki scene (opened in May) but we quickly found it to be a favorite. At the canal end of the mall, you'll find an eatery tucked away that's full of glorious food options! You can get ribs, pizza, tacos, cocktails, shaved ice, acai bowls, burgers, and the one I went for, ramen. I felt like something on the healthier side and I can't turn down garlic prawns. The mushrooms that came with it were very tasty as well, I would definitely go back. With so many options to choose from, the Street is such a great option if you're traveling with a group. I'm going back for the tacos! 

I hope you enjoyed this day of eating in Waikiki. I'll be trying a lot more places and will get back to you with the best ones. Sorry if this post makes you hungry, but I can't help sharing all of the amazing foods this place has to offer.

Until next time, Steph x.

365 Days Of Happiness: July

Friday, 4 August 2017

Did anyone else blink and July was just...gone?
Not that I'm complaining, it means August has come quick and that means it's time for my vacation!
Hawaii (and lots of travel blogs) here I come.

My training this month has gone really well and I'm feeling better than ever. My coach has updated our training again, which has meant that we've had some awesome workouts. You never know what you're gonna get with CrossFit, so it makes every morning different.

Our family has been looking after some dogs for friends and relatives this month too. We have loved having furry faces around the house and jumping all over us when we got home. It definitely reassures me that we are going to need a pooch in our lives again very soon. 

It's still fun looking back through all of my memories from the month, and even though there were some days where it was hard to find something happy, this project still makes me think of the positives at the end of the day.
Enough rambling, here's what happened in July!

1. Got a fresh hair cut today and it's made me feel like a new woman. 

2. Had a nice lunch catch-up with some close friends. Lots of carbs and chatting!

3. Work was very pleasant today (always a victory.) Then I spent the rest of the day blogging and cooking yummy food. 

4. Made the best smoothie with mango and strawberries. 

5. Enjoying our last few days dog-sitting Lilly and Rosie.

6. CrossFit went well this morning with my snatch lifts actually clicking for once. Was nice not struggling for once. 

7. It was hamburger day at the cafe, so I got to make them all! Best part of the job.

8. Pizza party Saturday Night & went to see Spider-Man: Homecoming & loved it!

9. Got to spend some time blogging today, then made bangers and mash for dinner (both vegetarian and normal)

10. There's nothing like lifting heavy in the morning with awesome people. 

11. We did snatch balance lifts this morning, which were awesome for my over-head strength. 

12. After struggling for months to be able to kick into a handstand, I finally conquered my fears and did it! I also smashed the workout and my coach was so proud he gave me a hug. 

13. Finally back at one of my favorite coffee shops for lunch. I finally got to try their rice paper rolls, and their peanut sauce is insane!

14. Came home from work to house-sit for our friends. We are renting her home in October, so it's great to experience it properly!

15. Dinner with the CrossFit fam at a steak-house. Not so great for vegetarian me, but they had an all you can eat salad bar! And deep-fried banana balls in cinnamon sugar :p

16. Was soooo nice waking up with the house to ourselves. It's our last day house-sitting and we don't want to leave! Must be a good sign. 

17. Had a nice/easy day at work then went off to CF for double DT! It's a famous workout made legendary by the CrossFit Games. I felt really strong today, so I'm happy with my progress. 

18. 10kg PR on my clean & jerk lift today! About time too. 

19. Not feeling well today, so it's a rest day for me. I went and did a nice little food shop, which is officially one of my favorite things to do. 

20. Yummy lunch with Mum then I went bargain hunting at a charity shop. I got so much stuff that we need for $11!

21. Today's workout was a 10km row in pairs. Me and Mel did awesome! Kept a great pace the whole time and we even got to watch Fittest on Earth on Netflix while we rowed. Best motivation ever!

22. Finally got my Saturday sleep-in, tried the new menu at Uncommon Cafe, and saw Dunkirk!

23. Made croissants for breakfast and did a marathon of Friends (season one.) I made my first ever bacon and egg pie for Steve! Such a kiwi classic. 

24. Steve's been teaching me how to play the card game Crib. I'm really getting into it now :)

25. Had the afternoon free, so I went into super-productive mode! I cleared junk from my wardrobe, glory-box, & shelves, then packed up all the kitchen things I've been collecting, and I even started packing for our holiday next week. Feels good to get my to-do list checked off. 

26. Did a crazy "death by burpee" ladder workout today (with back squats, shoulder press, and deadlifts in between) and somehow wound up being the last one standing! I also got a text saying I got paid a tax refund of $800. It couldn't be better timing for our holiday!

27.  Cheeky McDonald's run with Steve to end a good day. I tried their lamington shake and it was amazing!

28. Feeling incredibly tired today. but I was fortunate enough to get the night off work. I cooked some easy fajitas and chilled with Steve.

29. Made some epic nachos for me and Steve on this Saturday night. Mine is never complete unless I have a mountain of sour cream on top!

30. Protein pancakes for breakfast then we were off on a shopping adventure to find some trail running shoes (mission: successful) Later in the night we went out for a friend's birthday dinner and ate our body weight in Italian food. So full, but it was so worth it. I had the most epic food coma!

31. Feeling confident in myself. Was a domestic goddess and made a yummy dinner for us, then did my best at CrossFit to work hard on my snatch lifts. Practice makes perfect!

July was great, but I know August is going to be even better!
Tell me something happy from your day today.
Steph x.