365 Days of Happiness: May

Monday, 5 June 2017






Oh May, what a month you were!
So many ups and downs these past few weeks. I'm still adjusting to working full time and juggling everything else in life (drinking enough water, keeping my room clean, and being in bed by 10pm.)  But I enjoy working hard because I know that I'm doing everything to achieve my goals.

I'm very happy with where my training has been going lately too. My skills are definitely improving and my knee doesn't hold me back anymore (not even box jumps!) I have also entered an in-house competition at the end of June, so it'll be fun putting my hard work to the test!




1. Baked healthy oat & blueberry muffins (recipe here!) I also came first in the CrossFit workout today, that never happens! 

2. Achieved a day of healthy eating, which is no small feat. 

3. There was a lot of front squats in the workout today and I'm really proud of how well I did, I was not letting go of that bar! I also got my first 10 unbroken toes-to-bar. 

4. Bought myself a cute set of measuring cups today, can't wait until I'm baking with them in my own kitchen. 




5. Our new gym merch arrived today and everyone loved my blue hoodie! They're doing a special order so more people can get one. I think I started a trend. 

6. Felt great running the hills today, I also bought Mum the stuff she wanted from Lush for Mothers Day. We actually went out to two events tonight, it felt nice getting dressed up. 

7. Bought some more house items today, at bargain prices too. Went out to a Thai restaurant for Steven's Mum's birthday. 

8. Conquered a tough workout with the alpha class today!
1 mile run
50 front squats 
300 skips
100 sit ups
50 sumo high bar deadlifts
100 box jump overs

9. First night sleeping in our new winter flannelette sheets and they're so soft!

10. Spent the night in watching the new Big Bang Theory episode with Mum.

11. Got a PR on my Clean lift this morning of 50kg! Cleans are one of my favorite lifts now. 

12. It was deadlift day at CrossFit and I'm getting closer to the 100kg club (97.5kg PR!) I'm happy because I'm finally back to what I was lifting before me knee injury.

13. Had a Dominoes feast with Steve after work. I must have been hungry because I finished my entire pizza in about twenty minutes!

14. Started Mother's Day with a Fun Run where the whole family came along. Then we had a delicious lunch at her favorite cafe.

15. Steve got a great deal on a new 55" TV is it's so big! We celebrated with CrossFit, eating New York cheesecake and watching Transformers.

16. I got to have the morning off work, so I made dinner for the whole family. It gave my Mum some well-deserved time off.

17. Went a mid-day CrossFit class, which was tough but so fun! I killed it on the clean lifts and squats.

18. Finally found the right cutlery set for our future flat. Feels great to be building stuff up.

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19. Steve got me a burger and onion rings from Carl's Jr after I had an anxiety attack. Safe to say that it helped a lot.

20. Saturday got to be what I wanted to do so, we ate nachos (with A LOT of sour cream on top) and played UNO. I totally won!

21. Got to have a cozy sleep-in and watch the CrossFit Regionals. It's so fun cheering for my favorite athletes and seeing them in action.

22. We did one of my favorite hero workouts today:
Nate (20min AMRAP)
2 burpee pull-ups
4 handstand push-ups
8 Kettlebell swings
I pushed through and got 19 rounds!!

23. The amount of support for Manchester is so inspiring. It renews my faith in humanity.

24. Steve and I may have a flat to move into in October! We couldn't be more excited.




25. Had a little wander through Kmart and scoped out my new home-ware purchases. We also treated ourselves to some dessert: the new chocolate pie from McDonald's!

26. Had a very tough day today but I had a nice early night in bed watching more CrossFit Regional events.




27. I participated in a rowathon for charity today and even though it was the toughest thing I have ever had to do physically, I was really proud of our team. We seriously rowed our hardest! My reward was fish and chips for dinner then ice cream for dessert.

28. Cozy Sunday, exactly the way it should be: pancakes in bed, blog work, and watching more regional action!

29. Had a fun strength class practicing our over-head squats. They're feeling a lot smoother now, and hopefully they will help my snatch lifts get better.





30. Made myself proud when I tackled a tough workout today. I came home and my arms were pumped! And they should be after 100 pull-ups and 100 push-ups.

31. Steven surprised me with Indian for dinner. After a long day it's just what I need.



That beautiful face! Saying goodbye to him, knowing he would never sleep next to me at night broke my heart. You could never find a dog with a bigger personality or the fact that he would have a conversation with you in doggy talk. Buddy was one of a kind. Thank you for all the laughs and love you gave me over the 12 years you were in my life. You were always meant to come live with us and I couldn't be more grateful that you did.


Here's to a great June!
Steph x. 

Changing Up My Look Optically!*

Thursday, 1 June 2017





Wearing glasses is a big part of my personal style and I don't feel like myself without them.
It's so much so that it's a big reason I don't wear contacts.

I have always enjoyed the process of picking out my new frames and I love being a little brave with it. I've had red frames before, as well as purple ones. And I have been rocking my "Superman" frames that have a pop of blue on the inside for nearly two year now.

As someone who has VERY poor eyesight, it's important to me that I have glasses I really enjoy wearing. They're pretty much stuck to my face from the second I get out of bed, to when I hop back in at night.

The only thing that usually holds me back from a trip to the optometrist for new frames is the price tag that comes with it. It can be hard to justify $500 when that holiday in the sun is on top of your priority list. But thankfully there is a solution!







When the awesome people from Optically contacted me, I got really excited.
After browsing their glasses online, I fell in love with so many gorgeous pairs. And with 3000 pairs to look through, it's no wonder why! I couldn't help but buy a pair called "Rouge" that I had my eyes on from the start (see what I did there?)
They're not what I would usually be brave enough to try, but at such a good price ($35 including prescription and shipping!!) I decided to just go for it. They also add in free scratch resistant coating, which is really reassuring for someone as clumsy as me.






They arrived only three working days later, which is super-quick in my experience with prescription glasses. It was such an awesome surprise! It's so fun getting your new glasses and this time was no different. There's always that first glance in the mirror after you try them on. I wasn't disappointed and loved showing my family these beautiful frames. The prescription was spot on too, top quality.





I've been really impressed with Optically, especially with their range of frames available. There's so many styles to choose from, and with designer glasses like Gucci and Marc Jacobs at way lower prices than I see in stores, you can afford to try any style. They even make prescription sunglasses, which is something I will be investing in before summer comes around. I always see some many cute pairs when I'm out and about, but they're useless to blind old me! But now I can try aviators or these gorgeous Fendi ones. I'm gonna have a lot of fun picking one (or two, or three) new shades soon.

It's going to be really great to change up my frames everyday to suit my mood and what I'm wearing. My glasses can be my best accessory and I'm happy that I've found an easy/affordable website to get them from. Never underestimate how great you feel while rocking great glasses! I'm gonna be changing up my look a lot more regularly now.

Make sure you check out their website, especially if you're from New Zealand or Australia, to check out their great deals and selection. Or even just to find some ideas of what frames you might like to try. They really do have something to suit everyone.

Do you wear glasses? How do you have fun with it?
Steph x.


*This post was sponsored by Optically. All opinions and images are my own.




How I Stay Motivated To Get Up & Train

Saturday, 27 May 2017





Before I begin, let me tell you how I got the inspiration for this post. 

So, I got up at my usual 6am, Mum's already in the shower and I'm hunting around my room for something to wear. My legs are aching from the sprints we did yesterday, but I know I'll be fine once I get moving. I've already checked the workout for the day (strict barbell press, double unders, hang power cleans and air squats) so I'm excited for the next hour and I happily grab my Reebok skipping rope. 

It's raining a little this morning when I get in the car, but it won't matter for this workout. I get to the box in good time and the previous class is just finishing up. I was going to get the foam roller out and tackle my sore legs, but then I spot Sadie the little black Pug. She was crying from lack of attention and there's no way I can resist going over to cuddle her. 

It gets to 6.30am (when class is due to start) and nobody else has shown up. Usually someone comes in later than me, but not today. Our typically small class was just down to me after some cancellations, so I decided to just come back for the mid-day class since there's no fun in doing it by yourself. It wasn't all bad though because I got to chat to my coach and had some more cuddles with Sadie. 

I came home, grabbed a coffee and yogurt, then sat in bed to watch the rest of Fittest On Earth (CrossFit documentary surrounding the games, stream it on Netflix!) I only got more inspired by these athletes and each time I watch this film, I remind myself of why I should train harder. 

Believe me when I say that I know how tough it can be to get out of bed some days. When you're sore and tired already from the week, the last thing you wanna do is go do a max-effort workout. These are some things that I have to remind myself of every once in a while. I hope you find them helpful too!


Doing the things you suck at is the only way you're gonna get better

This is especially true for CrossFit, simply because of how many different movements there are. There are definitely some that I'm confident at: deadlifts, cleans, hand-stand push ups, running etc) but on those days where we focus on a movement that I suck at, I always need that extra mental push to get out the door. It's natural to want to stick to the things you like and are proficient at. But it's not going to help you progress on your fitness journey. That's one of the reasons I love CF, my comfort zone is always being tested. So I've been sticking to a mentality where I look forward to those tougher classes, because it means that in a months time I will be way better at that movement than if I didn't show up to class. I might even start to like doing them more! 


Knowing the difference between being burnt out and muscle soreness

When you're active, the real test in the morning can be getting out of bed and seeing how much your body hurts. Some weeks I'm totally fine. Other times, it's Tuesday and my body is wrecked already. But being someone who runs regularly, I know that when my muscles are sore they need to be stretched out and worked again as part of the healing process. It sounds weird, but it's better for them to get used to the movements, so that you're not sore the next time. Obviously there have been times where I have to step back and listen to my body when it's trying to tell me to rest. But being sore shouldn't be an excuse to skip your training that day, and if you need to just have an active recovery session with some light cardio/lots of stretching. 


What would Katrin Davidsdottir do?

Most of you won't be familiar with this gorgeous lady, but she has been crowned the Fittest Woman On Earth two years in a row (and hopefully go for a third time in 2017!) She's an incredible athlete and always has the perfect mentality for any challenge. Sometimes when I'm training, I'll ask myself what I would do if she was there training with me. Would she put the bar down or would she keep going? It can be a powerful motivator when you imagine your fitness hero is standing beside you. Seems a little weird, but trust me it works. 


I'm definitely not perfect when it comes to early morning training. I'm consistent and I'll always be there ready to go. But there have been mornings when poor Steve has had to drag me out of bed to go train. It's only going to get harder in winter when the cold hits and I'm wearing ten jackets and a beanie into the gym. But hey, no excuses. I truly believe that being active gives you the best quality of life and I'm yet to regret a single workout. 

What are some of the things that motivate you to go exercise? 
Remember why you started!
Steph x. 


Recipe: Simple Oat & Berry Snack Muffins!

Sunday, 21 May 2017





The search is over people! I had been hunting for the perfect snack recipe that's great to have before a workout, as an afternoon pick-me-up, or even late at night when I get really hungry but want to avoid the chocolate stash. We all know that struggle, right?

Healthy and reliable snacks can be hard to come by and we don't always have enough time in the day to put something together. But these muffins are super easy to make and you don't need a lot of ingredients. They're protein packed to keep you full as well as give you energy. And did I mention that they taste amazing?


Ingredients: (makes 7-8) 

2 ripe bananas
2 cups rolled oats
1 egg, beaten, 
3/4 cup (60ml) milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 cup frozen (or fresh) berries


Preheat oven to 180*c

In a medium sized bowl, mash the bananas then stir in oats. 

Add the egg, milk and vanilla then stir to combine. 

Then add the berries and mix well. 

Spoon the mixture into greased muffin tins, filling right to the brim. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through. 

Leave to cool, then remove from tins and enjoy!





I seriously love this recipe and everyone I've shared it with has become a fan too, which makes me happy! They are budget and kid friendly as well, so it doesn't cost a lot to have healthy snacks ready to go. These are also great for those mornings where you're rushed for breakfast and want to keep your eating on track.

Let me know if you try these, or what some of your healthy snacks are!
Steph x.


Home-Ware Haul #2!

Tuesday, 16 May 2017







As you'll soon learn, I've still been having a lot of fun picking up bits and pieces each week for my future flat. And since I'm on a budget, I've learned to be savvy with my purchases and haven't spent more than $20 each time I shopped. 

I've found that it pays to do your research on specific items you want. Also, never look past the gems in clearance departments! I'll be showing you some of the things I've found that barely put a dent in my wallet, yet are still super-stylish or practical. I'll be doing a full blog post on budget tips in the future!

I'm still focusing most of my efforts on getting the kitchen set up. I think that's the area I'm looking forward to most in my own flat. There have been a few times lately where I've wanted to cook, or just needed breakfast, but the kitchen was already occupied. You all know how obsessed with food I am, so let me tell you, this girl really needs her own kitchen!

You're gonna have to get used to me rambling on about house-related things, I'm obsessed!




Grey Bath Mat $14

I'm so happy with this! We currently have the yellow version of this one and it's so soft and comfy on your feet that I wanted they grey one for my own bathroom. I managed to get it for half price, so I didn't need to splurge on it. It seems silly, but I'm excited for when I get to finally use this.


Blue Bowls $2.50 each

Not gonna lie, one of the reasons I bought these is because they will look great in food photography! But we did need a few more bowls up our sleeve and I really love the color of these ones. They're a little bigger than your everyday ones, so I can use them for entertaining (or a generous dessert serving...)


3x Blue Bathroom organizers $1 each

I feel like this is something people often forget about when setting up a home. I'm not a fan of mess either, so I thought these will come in real handy. I'll be doing the same for the kitchen cabinets as well.


2 x Wooden Spoons $2 each

Because if there's one thing I have learned, it's that you can never have enough of these!


Set of 3 Stainless Steel Bowls $10

These are just my favorite to bake with and they take up a lot less room that ceramic bowls. I thought this set would be a great starter for my cooking days.




Black and Gold Mountain Print $3

I fell for this print quickly, and as soon as I saw the clearance price I knew I had to have it. These kinds of neutral prints are really great to have for any room. Plus I feel like I want any and all of my future homes to be full of art.


White Ceramic Jar $2

Couldn't pass up this bargain. I'm on Pinterest far too often and a lot of the styled kitchens have simple jars on the counter-top next to wooden chopping boards, and it just looks really cute. I'm not sure what I'll put in here, but it should bring my kitchen together nicely.




Black Wire Basket $6

These are definitely another style trend right now and I have been eyeing them up. They look really cool as fruit bowls, for hand-towels in the bathroom, or for dog toys. Managed to get this one on sale too!


Baking Tray $5

I actually found this one on sale at the supermarket and couldn't pass it up! It's non-stick and will be perfect for almost anything. Some muffin tins for healthy cupcakes will be next on my list.




Palm Tree Print $4

As someone who loves the sight of anything tropical themed, I had to have this one! Not to mention the fact that blue is my favorite color and the whole thing reminds me of Hawaii. Steve and me are off there in a few months, so it might be a nice way of remembering our holiday.



I think I'm doing pretty well so far! There's still lots to get organised, but we have time. I definitely don't think you need to spend a tonne of money on household items, or even have to sacrifice how you want a room to look. There's always a way to make it work.

Let me know if you want me to keep doing these home-ware hauls! I'm sure there will be tonnes more bargains for me to show you.

Do you have any budget decorating tips?
Steph x.


Apps I'm Loving At The Moment!

Thursday, 11 May 2017





I'm not usually one to get obsessed with technology, and it's good to have a healthy relationship with your phone these days. But let's be honest here, sometimes we all love a bit of down-time to catch up on social media or in my case, look at puppies on Instagram. When I upgraded my iPhone, there was finally enough room for me to have some apps on there that I had wanted to try. I also found some new ones while browsing the App Store and I wanted to share some of these gems with you!



BookOut 

Guys, I have finally found the app I have needed to get me back into reading!
I stumbled upon this on the app store and it has changed my bookworm life. It's basically like a reading log/companion where you record reading sessions and it tells you how long it will take to read the book, what page you get up to (just in case your bookmark falls out) and you can record your favorite quotes. There's even achievements you can unlock for reading a certain amount of books etc. 


Pinterest

I've stated before how I am addicted to this website, I scroll through it everyday to get ideas and stay inspired. I never put the app on my previous phone because it could never handle loading so many pictures at a time. But with my iPhone 6S and the new-found speed and clarity that came with it, I could now scroll anywhere I want! 


APRIL

I love editing photos on my iPhone while I'm out and about (mainly using the ColorStory app.) One thing I was missing was a way making collages with my edited images. I came across April and downloaded it immediately. It's super-easy to use and can make almost any combination that you would want. It's been really helpful when I make food posts or my 365 Days of Happy Project. Highly recommend!


Do

Does anyone else have a long to-do list in their minds, but you always end up forgetting half of it? That's me for sure! I went hunting for an app to fix that problem (because there's always one) and found a really simple one called Do. You can just type out what you need to remember and just swipe it to cross it out. It also leaves the tasks you've completed recently for you to see, just in case you have to remember.


Star Wars Puzzle Droids 

I've recently started playing Candy Crush, I know, I'm SUPER late to that party. But then on May the 4th, I went on to the app store where they were advertising all of the Star Wars games you could play. Naturally I was drawn to it and found this one among them. It's got all the fun of Candy Crush with the story line of restoring BB-8's memories for him. You can even destroy squares using a blaster!



What are some apps you've been loving? I'd love some recommendations!
Steph x.

What I Eat In A Day #4

Tuesday, 2 May 2017




Good morning, everyone! 

It's a chilly Tuesday morning here and I got up at 6am for a CrossFit session. We did back squats for nearly an hour (10 reps, 5, 3, 1, 1, 1, 3, 5, 10) and I worked mainly on my form because my recent knee injury has prevented me from doing it properly. It's going to take some practice, but I'm happy to be taking a step in the right direction now.

I've had a nice hot shower, and now I am very ready for some food.

I've been trying to have bigger meals at the start of my day lately, mainly because my work schedule means that I don't get to eat anything again until after 12.30. Which also means I've cut carbs (except my oats. You can't take those from me) and focused on getting a tonne of protein from eggs and other options to keep me full for hours. So far it has worked and it's always good to train my body to do something different.




This morning I am combining two smaller meals for my breakfast. The first one is some muesli (the low-sugar kind) with half a cup of natural Greek yogurt, blueberries, and a little maple syrup. I can't go without my fruit in the morning and this is super-quick to put together.




My second option is vegetarian sausages with fried eggs and I'm also going to add a little barbecue sauce. Simple and tastes great, plus I can make my coffee and muesli while it all cooks. 






I didn't need lunch when I got home from work, so obviously I ate right this morning! 
I've made myself a "deconstructed sushi bowl" with 1/2 cup brown rice, 95g of tuna, celery, green pepper and sesame seeds. I topped it with some dark soy sauce and sweet chili. Yum! I've been having this for my lunch through the last month and I love it.




I've just been on the treadmill in our garage doing a little bit of running. It's hard finding time to get out with my new work schedule, so I gotta fit in some jogging where I can. And now I'm super hungry! I also craving something healthy, so I've made a messy little smoothie bowl.




I added an apple, 1/2 a banana, frozen raspberries and some turmeric/carrot juice I had that's packed with ginger. It blended up nicely, so I topped it with the other half of a banana, fejoa, paleo muesli mix, flax seeds and chia seeds. So much goodness! Plus I love the color.





Dinner tonight is zucchini and haloumi fritters with salmon. We also added a sour cream mix that had a little too much cayenne pepper in it for some heat. I would have added some greens but we don't have any left at the moment. This was delicious! We added buckwheat flour, which has a really nice nutty taste to it.


That was a pretty good day of eating! I've gotten a little off track lately, but I'm feeling good about getting back to being on a healthy plan. I've already got some recipes I'm looking forward to trying!

What's your favorite food been lately?
Steph x.