10 Lessons About Puppies I Couldn't Learn From Pinterest

Tuesday, 13 February 2018




 I can't believe we have had Enzo for almost a week already. It felt like forever in the three weeks we had to wait for him to be old enough to come home. Neither of us had taken care of a puppy before so we had no idea of what to expect. Being part-Poodle, he is so smart and is learning so quickly. He settled in better than we imagined, so it's happy days!

Before getting Enzo, I spent A LOT of time on Pinterest reading blogs and getting the best advice for puppies that I could. I already loved this little fella so much and didn't want to do anything wrong. It was always going to be a learning experience, but it's reassuring to get some tips before you dive in.

And BTW, you'll be seeing a lot of his little face around here. 





They will alternate between playing and sleeping every half hour or so. Be ready for bursts of energy at any time. 


Have toys at the ready in case they start chewing something they're not supposed to. Enzo seems to have a fondness for climbing on my back when I'm lying down and chewing my hair and ears. They're easily distracted, so teach them what's okay right from the start. 


They're like toddlers; be ready to not get anything done when they're awake because you'll have to watch their every move. I'm still terrified of Enzo choking or getting stuck somewhere, so I learned on the first night to get things done while he was napping. 


This is why they make the perfect practice if you are thinking about having kids. You'll learn about sacrificing your own time and having a big responsibility on your hands. I'm learning a lot about how Steve and I would operate as parents. So far it's giving me a lot of confidence. 


Every puppy is different and you can't predict how they will be once they arrive home. It's good to do your research and have some knowledge behind you, but take it all with a fresh mind and see what your puppy needs. 


Get your loved ones involved, because help is always needed. Steve had to be a his friend's wrestling match the night we got Enzo and that's when I learned I wouldn't be getting much done. Having someone there so you can shower with the peace of knowing your pup is safe, especially in the first week while you gain confidence, can be a big comfort. 


Have a plan, but go with the flow.


No matter how much you puppy-proof the house, they will ALWAYS find anything that you missed. 


Not all puppy myths are true. He hasn't peed everywhere or destroyed his bed. Chewing everything yes, but he catches on quick when we say no. Obviously it will differ depending on what breed you choose, but not all puppies will be nightmares.


Learn what habits your breeder/previous owner had with them. Night routine, potty training methods, what toys they loved, and any bad habits they have picked up. Consistency is everyone's friend when puppies come home. 



I hope this was helpful to any other pet owners out there, or to anything thinking of getting a puppy. It's definitely been life-changing so far, but in the best ways.

What was the best pet advice you ever received?
Steph x. 



Whose Instagram Stories I'm Watching

Sunday, 11 February 2018





I'm definitely that girl who can spend her whole lunch break watching stories on her phone. I wasn't a fan when Instagram first released their stories, but when I fell out of love with Snapchat I realized what all the hype was about. 

So damn easy to use. 

So addictive to keep watching the next story along. 

And no tacky club scenes like on SnapChat. We keep it classy over here. 

So who's icons do I click on first? 




You may recognize this beauty from the Nick show Victorious. I honestly wasn't a fan of her character on the show, but started following her on Instagram somehow. And she's so cool! A dog lover, vegan foodie, and effortlessly stylish. She posts on stories pretty much everyday and I just love seeing her LA lifestyle. 


Acacia Brinley

Such a flawless girl, with #couplegoals (he proposed at Disney under the fireworks <3 ) and a beautiful daughter. She has been trying to eat less meat and I've really enjoyed seeing what vegetarian recipes she has put together. She makes me want to go through my closet and enjoy a comfy hippie style.


Katrin Davidsdottir

I love keeping up with all the CrossFit athletes on Instagram. I'm always curious to how they're training, what they're eating, and what other athletes they're hanging out with. Yeah Katrin is a total badass in the gym, but she's also a big foodie and LOVES shopping. 



Who doesn't watch Hannah's stories? She's the type of blogger you're stoked is successful. She's funny, stylish, relatable, and man she is awesome at writing. She often share's her favorite products in her stories, and we get glimpses of her beautiful little boy!


Norman Cook 
aka Kaley Kuoco

The girl from The Big Bang Theory that's even cuter in real life. Lots of horses, adorable rescue dogs and banter with her future husband.


whereiskirstie 

Disney adventurer, story pics that look better than my feed every will, and the cutest stories that will brighten your day. Go swoon over the talent of this lovely gal!




There you go guys, just some of my favs that I love to watch. Let me know some of yours in comments so I can check them out!

I've also made an Instagram for our new puppy Enzo if you would like to see him grow :)

Steph x.


New Family Fav: Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese!

Saturday, 10 February 2018







But Steph, don't you try eat healthy and avoid these kinds of carbs?

Well, yeah.

But goddammit I am a foodie through and through, and you will not deny me anything with the word CHEESE in the name.

Sundays in my family are for easy, feel good meals and I've found a new favorite addition to said tradition. So easy to make, less dishes, won't stick together when cold, non-greasy, and tastes so good.
I've adapted my recipe from this one I found on Pinterest. Her one is definitely a lot more American-friendly and makes me wish New Zealand had a bigger obsession with cheese!


You will need:

250g uncooked macaroni 
1/4 cup of butter
1 cup milk
1 sachet vegetable soup 
1 cup grated cheese of your choice 
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika 
salt & pepper to season 



And now the super-easy way to put it all together: 










Cook your macaroni accornding to the instructions on the packet, preferably al dente because it will cook further in the slow cooker. 

Transfer the pasta into your cooker, then stir in the butter until it has melted completely. 

Add the rest of your ingredients and mix well. Leave it to cook on high for an hour, or until the milk has evaporated and you are happy with the flavor. You can add more cheese/seasoning to suit your taste buds. Make sure you stir it occasionally to keep from sticking. 

Serve alongside your favorite dishes!


This is one of those recipes that you can leave bubbling away while you get other cooking done. It's one less thing to worry about and who doesn't love some comfort food on a Sunday night? Definitely a new favorite in our house.




What recipes have you been trying lately?
Steph x.


Keeping That New Year's Feeling Alive & Kickin'

Sunday, 4 February 2018






I don't know about you guys, but those few days between Christmas and New Years where you feel like you're in total limbo in the lead up to a new fresh year is one of my favorite times. Nothing beats that New Years rush of excitement, panic, and pure joy of having a year of opportunity ahead of you. 


And then February rolls around and you're like "Uh Oh. A whole month in a my goals have taken a back seat already."

But you can take a deep breath and relax at the thought that you are not alone. Life happens, you get busy, and we all forget what was on our minds on January 1st. It's understandable, although this year I wanted to keep that New Year vibe alive so that I don't lose sight of what I set out to do in 2018. 



Yesterday I had one of those moments to myself where I questioned my day job and what was gonna make me happy. I was wracking my brain to think of options when I almost hit myself on the head. Blogging and social media is what I'm passionate about and the only thing that will make me feel satisfied when it comes to careers. I had forgotten my goals for the year already. 


STAY MADLY AND DEEPLY INSPIRED 

Where ever your passion lies in 2018 and beyond, you should never EVER lose sight of why it set your soul on fire in the first place. Lately I've been having more fun with Instagram stories and trying to post more than one photo a day if that's what I'm feeling. I'll scroll Bloglovin' and Twitter to keep up with the blogging community. See what topics people are writing about, or just find new bloggers to follow. The more I stay involved, the harder I want to work and make my own little blog shine. 


START HAVING MONDAY MEETINGS 

Boring in an office, hella useful for creatives. This is a really great way to stay on top of what goals you have for the week ahead. Keeping an eye on your long term goals of course, but taking things just week by week (or even day by day) to reach what it is you're dreaming of. You can just sit by yourself with a hot beverage and get out one of the many notepads you've been hoarding up (I know I'm not the only one.) Write a few achievable goals for the next week, even if it's just drinking enough water. You can also write what posts will be going up, plan your Instagram, and check what goals you had the week before to see if you actually achieved them. You can start your Monday feeling super motivated and with your goals in the forefront of your mind. 


GET ENOUGH REST

Anyone else get stressed and turn into a cranky She-Hulk when they didn't go to bed early enough the night before? Yeah, I feel ya. Just remember that you can't conquer the world if you haven't had enough sleep! Same goes for having enough self-love time, or in my introverted case, time to recharge. So so important. 


POSITIVE VIBES, GOOD KARMA

This was my mantra coming into 2018 and I'm standing by it. It's perfect for no matter what you're doing in life, At work, when you're driving, walking through a busy mall, or chasing your dreams. I always feel positive in the new year and hate when that leaves me. I always want to feel that hopeful no matter how far into the year it is. A positive attitude can work wonders and it needs to be something we practice year round. 


DO THE ANNIE THORISDOTTIR CHALLENGE

Most of you probably won't know who this wonderful chick is, but in the CrossFit world she is a legend. She's one of the few that's been there from the beginning of the sport, two time Fittest on Earth champion, and after a heat injury a few years ago she made he way back onto the podium in 2017. Total. CrossFit. Goddess.




Fangirling aside, she posted something that I thought was a really awesome idea. I love the thought of having three mini-goals for the day, everyday. For example, three things that would make my day today awesome would be:

Taking the family dog Bond for a walk
Getting my blog organized and feeling proud
Baked potatoes with dinner

I find if you set out to do things that day, that you know feel good, it puts you in the right mindset for the whole day. You make plans, you do things, and you feel awesome for it. I think I'm gonna try this for a week and keep a notebook as I go. It will be like starting your new years every day!


YOU HAVE NO OBLIGATION TO BE THE SAME PERSON YOU WERE FIVE MINUTES AGO

This was a quote I found on my Pinterest travels a few years back and it hit me like a tonne of bricks y'all. I think we all have those moments on reflection where you think to yourself, "I really didn't handle that well, did I?" But it's a reassuring thought that you don't have to have the same attitude you did a second ago. Thought you were being a bit too bossy at work? You can go reassure someone they're doing a good job. Feeling lazy and eating a whole packet of chips? Pick yourself up, watch a Carly Rowena vlog, put your cutest active gear on and go sweat any way you like. I know it's not always the easiest thing to do, but to know that you CAN change and be better is something to never forget.   


I wanna know how you guys stay inspired and what keeps your New Year Feeling going through the year!
Steph x.




Seven Awesome Things That Happened In January

Thursday, 1 February 2018





The Best New Years

Before I met Steve my NY Eve used to be pretty low-key. I'd probably stay up late watching Harry Potter and that would be as exciting as it got. Coming into 2018 was by far one of the best New Years nights that I've ever had. My friend's beautiful dogs were there, lots of delicious food (that seriously saved me from a hangover!) I got very tipsy on one strong margarita and we all had a drunken trip to the park to have a go on the playground. It was the most fun I had had in a long while and I loved it. 


Enzo <3 

It was a goal for January to save the bond for a puppy and continue looking/hoping to hear from a breeder. Never did I think that this dream would come true so early in 2018 and it's made me the happiest girl ever. We got to meet the little guy for some cuddles and completely fell in love. It's also made these last few weeks fun as I try and get everything ready for him. If you would like to read the full story I wrote a post all about it. 


We Finally Got Internet In The House

A small victory I know, but after three months of frustration and about fifty phone calls that Steve had to make, we finally ended up with consistent internet. As a blogger, and millennial, you can imagine my relief the day our modem finally showed up. It meant we got to start 2018 the right way and I could finally dedicate more time to my blog. 


Maze Runner: The Death Cure 

I felt like we had to wait so long for this finale to the series (2 years I think?) and WOW was I impressed! The vibe of the book was there and I love that they did justice to the characters right to the end. It was so exciting, tense, and just had me gripped the whole time. I highly recommend you guys to go watch it. Just make sure you do a mini-marathon of the first two movies first.


We got the exact set of drawers that we wanted for our bedroom. For free!

It's hard when you're setting up a flat from scratch to have every piece of furniture ready. Having a set of drawers was something we had always planned to get, but paying bills, Christmas, etc. meant that we had to put it off and just make do in the meantime.
On New Years Eve when I was at my friends house I noticed that they had a lovely set of retro drawers taking up room in the hallway. I asked about them and she said her parents would love to see them gone and would probably end up getting dumped. Luckily I asked because she kindly let us have them and everyone was happy! They're exactly like ones I've seen for sale and complete our room now.


Back to training

As much as getting up at 5am everyday is a drag and my least favorite part of the day, it has felt great to get back into my gym and start working on some goals. I really missed CrossFit through the holidays when I couldn't make it in and I had hoped my fitness wouldn't have suffered too much having a break. I jumped straight back in and it felt good! I even managed a PR on my power snatch lift, so I feel like I'm only going to get better. Happy to be back with my morning crew and starting the year right.



Mini-Golf Date <3

My wonderful Steve surprised me with a trip to the new Christchurch-themed mini golf in town. It was so fun and I managed to win! Haven't played in years but it was just what I needed. Afterwards we even got ice cream and mini doughnuts to make the afternoon perfect.





Happy February everyone! I hope January was awesome for you. Can we all breathe a sigh of relief now that the fabulous Hannah Gale has made her return to the blogging world? : )

What awesome things happened for you in Jan?

Steph x.




Etsy Items For Dog Lovers!

Sunday, 28 January 2018




It's been a rather impromptu post today, but one that seems to have cheered me up. I lost a whole post that I had written out and it had taken me days to do so. Oh well, on wards and up wards. I was having fun looking at Etsy for the cutest dog items for our new puppy and thought it would be a good idea to share my favorite finds. Sometime's it's more fun shopping for your pet anyway ;) 





Everything in this collection is absolutely beautiful and it's hard to pick a favorite print. They also make dog beds, leads, and collars. These would be something really special to have. It would definitely make you want to take your pooch out to show off how good they look in it. 






Because it doesn't get more relatable than this! I could definitely rock this while out walking my dog. They also have a cat version if you are so inclined. 






I so love the style of these and the customization is awesome. You can choose silver or copper, what to write on the back, and also what small symbols will go around the name. This might just be my top pick for Enzo's name tag. 






I am definitely going to need one of these! I know they're a little cheesy, but I'm gonna need a cool hook for his lead anyway, right? The only problem is that shipping to NZ will cost just as much as the purchase, so I might use it as inspiration for my own DIY project. 






This would make a perfect present for my Mum, since her dog Bond is everything to her. You can choose from a couple of different designs, but I thought this one was particularly beautiful. 






I thought this was a really cute way to show your love of dogs. The pink color is so pretty (you can also get blue, purple, green, grey, black, dark blue, and aqua.) Perfect for those sunny walks in the park, with or without a dog. 






I've seen these online before I secretly really want one. It would just be such a cute little reminder of your four-legged friend you'll be going home to see. 



Some pretty cute stuff, huh? These would definitely make great gifts to anyone who's obsessed with dogs. I've definitely got a few in mind for some friends and family. Plus I love supporting small businesses! 

Hope you enjoyed this shorter post today. I was going to have a break, but I'm glad I kept my creative juices going and put something together. 
What are your fav items?
Steph x. 




Five Other Ways To Use Instagram

Tuesday, 23 January 2018





Whether you love it, hate it, or you sit somewhere in between, Instagram is a massive part of the blogging world. I try to avoid any negativity I can and just enjoy it for being an awesome creative platform. I love posting photos and I love seeing others with their beautiful content. It calms me, gives me inspiration, and it's a fun extension of the blogging world.

But is it just for posting and looking at photos? Definitely not. That's just the start of the fun. 


Plan your travels

My family and I have made a few trips the US over the last five years and I have found Instagram to be so damn useful for finding great spots. By searching through hashtags and finding some local accounts, you'll find some awesome recommendations. Foodie places, where to hang out, and most importantly, where to take the best pics for your Insta. You always wanna know where the locals go.


Cafe Reviews

Ever since the earthquakes took out a lot of our city life back in 2012, there has been room for plenty of up and coming cafes to come onto the scene. There's a girl I follow called Christchurch Foodie who tries all the new spots and shares her favorite spots. I get excited whenever I see her post so I can plan where to check out at the weekend. Local Instas are the best for seeing what's good in your city. Even when she does trips to other parts of the country, I take note for when I might visit and follow the epic places she eats at. Find people who specialize in your area and use them as your city guide.


Celebrate your pet

I'm a sucker for animal Instagrams and there are some talented people out there that rock at it. And who doesn't love looking at pictures of cute cats and dogs? This is really fun way to work on your photography skills and show the world why your pet is cutest ever. You can bet I'll be making one for my future dog!


Find new bloggers

I spend quite a bit of time going through different hashtags (#lbloggers #thegirlgang) and spread some love with likes. If I like someone's style I will go check out the link to their blog and it's led me to finding some really awesome new bloggers to follow. We all know how hard it is (impossible even) to grow an audience on Instagram, so showing a little support here and there can mean the world to someone.


Healthy Recipe Ideas

There have been a few people over the years that I've followed for their fitness inspiration, especially if they remain big foodies too. You can find awesome recipes for smoothies, protein waffles, cookies, almost anything! I normally take a screenshot and use it as inspiration for the next time I wanna try out something new.






Well there you go! Five fun new ways to explore Instagram and renew your love for the platform. 
These are pretty much my favorites and what I do on an average Sunday afternoon. 

What's your favorite way to use Instagram?
Steph x.