Awesome Blog Posts You Should Stop & Read

Friday, 25 August 2017

I think the number one piece of advice that I would give to anyone struggling with their blog, would be to read some of the amazing talent out there. After being stuck in my own rut for a while, I realized how much I missed discovering new blogs and feeling inspired by their content. The other day I decided to browse my Bloglovin' feed and came across so many awesome posts! I was so impressed that I wanted to share them with you guys...

Katy Belle,
Photo Diary: Disneyland Paris 

While I'm not much of a Disney blogger myself, I absolutely adore any kind of posts on the subject. Katy's photography is always super stunning and makes me want to up my game. I definitely didn't utilize my time at Disneyland taking blog photos, so this post is inspiring me big time.

From Roses, 
So You Want To Get A Puppy? Everything I've Learnt From Being A Dog Parent

About an hour prior to reading this post I asked my boyfriend "Can I get a puppy for my birthday?" Which seems like a pretty big gift, but we will have moved in together by then and we have talked about getting a dog for a while now. When I saw this post pop up I knew it was a sign! Rebecca offers some really great advice about adjusting to life with a fluffy trouble-maker. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of getting a puppy, but this post helps bring you into the real world a little bit. I'll be coming back to this when I become a dog parent myself!

See The Stars
Why I'm Stripping My Blog Back To Basics 

I think each and every one of us bloggers face a time where we get so caught up in putting out content that we forget to enjoy ourselves. It's a struggle I've been facing and it looks like I'm definitely not alone. I really enjoyed Sarah's honest post about taking pressure off blogging and not stressing about perfection. It just shows you that your blog will evolve as you do. Also, that you're not restricted to writing about one subject until the end of time. This post has reminded me to also put passion into what I'm writing and to never forget that blogging is supposed to be fun.

Shona Louise
5 Trinket Dishes That Will Improve Your Flat Lays 

I feel like I haven't taken flat-lay pictures in a long time (unless it's of food...) but now I'm thinking I've just been lacking the right props! I never think of trinket dishes to use in photography, although it's a pretty obvious choice. The ones Shona has picked out in her post are so damn cute, I'm definitely hunting down a cactus one ASAP. I definitely want to get back into my flat-lay photography now!

Martha Jane Edwards
What I Learned From Failing My Summer Goals

The title of this post caught my eye immediately and I knew it was gonna be a good one. You see a lot of Goals posts popping up, but few people openly talk about what they didn't achieve. I thought her post was really relatable, in a way that we've all made goals and felt bad about not completing them. She points out that it's especially true for creative goals when the inspiration just doesn't come. I really loved this approach to goal reviews and it makes you think of every failure as a learning opportunity.

I hope you guys enjoys these posts as much as I did!
Have you read any great blogs lately?

Steph x. 

My Top Foodie Stops In Hawaii

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Flour and Barley

If you're in the mood for pizza (me 24/7) then I highly recommend this gorgeous restaurant. It's tucked away at the beach end of the International Marketplace, but once you're inside the decor is gorgeous. We were lucky enough to get a table by the window, so we could have the fresh air and still hear the waves of Waikiki beach.

Their pizzas offer something a bit more special than your standard menu and come out looking so fresh. They are a decent portion, so you get your moneys worth too. Mum and I shared the mushroom pizza, which our waitress was happy about because it's her favorite. And WOW was it good! I could have eaten two of these in one sitting.

Our waitress was also great at selling the dessert menu too. We weren't going to get any, but the way she talked about the chocolate mouse made it sound heavenly. She was not wrong at all, with the oreos on the bottom, pearls on top and sweet cream to go with it, it was one of the best I've ever had. And I never ever turn down cannoli when it's on the menu!

The Pig & The Lady

With over 20,000 followers on Instagram, there's already a lot of hype around this place. Looking back we were probably lucky to get a table at lunch time on a Saturday. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but once you step in you realize why it's left an impression with customers. The high ceilings and unusual, yet funky, decor makes this place stand out. And that's even before you've tasted their food...

Of all the places we ate on our trip, this was definitely one of the most memorable meals we had. The boys started with their famous fried chicken, which is then covered in peanuts. Then our mains came out and we were all blown away with what was in front of us. I got the prawn fried noodles, which was so full of delicious flavor it may be the best plate of noodles I've ever had. I tried some of my Mum's vegan meal (sorry, I couldn't get a picture!) and that was amazing too. You can tell they put a lot of thought and pride into their meals. The Pig and The Lady lives up to it's hype and offers stunning dishes. I'm craving those noodles already!

Olive and Oliver

How gorgeous is this place? I discovered it on Instagram before we left and had to pay it a visit! You can find it at the front of the Surfjack Hotel, which looks like amazing place to stay and rocks a modern Hawaiian vibe. Here you can grab a takeaway coffee, while having a gander at the adjoining boutique.

The coffees were delicious as well, and I couldn't stop taking pictures of the adorable cups they come in. I wish I could have stopped by this place more often on our trip. And I'm definitely staying at this hotel at some point, it looks so fun!

Ono's Burger Bar, Dukes Lane 

One morning when Mum and I were sneaking in a little shopping, we found another eatery/marketplace for us to try. We couldn't resist the mouth-watering menu that the burger bar was offering. It was a hard choice between the flat-bread pizzas and the black bean pattie.

This was a really fun meal! You could watch the chefs carefully put together the food, even the flat-bread dough was being made right in front of us. It all tasted fresh too. The fries were some of my favorite that I ate, seeing as they were coated in a spicy garlic mix. It's a shame we also found this one later in the trip because I really wanted to try more on their menu. You could easily grab a meal from here and walk the two blocks to the beach for a picnic lunch of you wanted too.

I hope you enjoyed my food finds from our vacation. I would return to any of these in a heart-beat and I can't wait to see what foodie stops I find the next time we go!

Where is your absolute favorite place to eat? 
Steph x. 

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.