What I Eat In A Day: 2018

Sunday, 15 July 2018




Oh hey there, it's been a while. 

I would apologize for being away for so long (again) but life is so funny and I just needed some time away. But I got those blogging endorphins flowing again and I feel great! I think I tend to worry too much about blog topics, so I'm going back to basics. Sometimes you need time to regroup and figured out what direction you need to go. 

I've been binging on Ugly Delicious on Netflix lately and one of the shows participants is a food writer. 

BOOM. EPIPHANY.

How have I never considered this as a job before?! It's perfect for me right? 
That's what MarvelSteph might just become a food based blog (not unlike my Instagram which is 99.5% food pics.) I'll be mixing in life stuff too, but if food is what makes me wanna write for days, then I'm gonna do it. 

So let's start with a fun one: A typical day of eating! 






Breakfast today was my favorite oatmeal bake with stewed apples. I prepped this super-quickly one night after work and it makes my mornings so easy. Plus I spent the first few hours of my shift really looking forward to my breakfast break. I shared the recipe over on my Instagram recently and have made it countless times already. If you're looking for an easy/delicious start to the day, this is for you. 

My favorite topping is apples and raisins that I've just stewed up over a medium heat with water, cinnamon, and a little coconut sugar. Perfect for the cold winter mornings we gave been having. 




Thursday lunches always take us to one of my FAV cafes in Christchurch, Park Ranger. 
They have amazing cabinet food: fresh salads, adventurous pizzas, and filled rolls that make me wanna drop my rules on carbs. Normally I get one of their salads with a side of haloumi, but the hand-made fruit bagels called to me. Bagels have great protein, plus I had a healthy breakfast so why not. 




Mum and I also split a raw snickers slice. This place makes one of the best ones in the city too! Perfect way to end a meal and start some midday shopping. 





I found a fun afternoon snack at the supermarket today: Apple Chips! I forgot how much I love these. 





Now for one of my favorite meals of the day: My afternoon Berry Protein Smoothie. I've been making these a lot lately and it keeps me so full until dinner time. Plus it's the perfect way to get a boost of protein, calcium and vitamins into your diet. Here's what I used:

1 yogurt tub
1 banana
frozen berry/spinach mix
1 scoop banana whey protein
1 cup calcium milk




It's Taco Thursday! Not really a thing, but I recently bought these cool taco shells that taste like nachos and we are obsessed. I prepped a big pot of bean chili on Monday, so it worked out perfect for an easy dinner. I just toasted them in the oven with some cheese and layered on the sour cream of course. So quick and easy after getting home late from work. 




That's it! A pretty typical day of eating. Most of the time I'm healthy and thinking of what nutrients I'm getting, but with a few treats in between. I love food, so I always let myself have something if my day is already balanced nutritional-wise. Plus I've lost weight recently due to sickness and I wouldn't mind building it back up so I can get back to lifting ALLLL the weights. 

What foodie topics would you love to see on my blog? 
Steph x. 


My Five Fav Foods Right Now

Wednesday, 20 June 2018





Hi guys, I'm back!

And talking about my favorite topic ever: Food.
Sometimes inspiration starts with the simple things that make us happy and who doesn't feel better after a stack of chocolate chip pancakes?

Like everything, I go through phases with food. Some weeks I'm all about the haloumi, the next I'm trying to make my own falafel again. That's what so great about being a foodie, there's endless fun to be had!

I've been exploring more foods lately and wanted to share my favs. Might be a new blog series on the horizon!


Lentils 

One amazing thing about not eating meat is that you can change around your protein source all the time. Some weeks I'll use chickpeas, then the next its vegetarian sausages or tofu. It's fun! Lately I've been experimenting with lentils a lot. They're so perfect for curries, patties, and adding it to soups on a cold day for some extra protein. I've been buying them dry (for super cheap) then soaking them in hot water with turmeric. Obsessed. 


Oh My Spice Protein Blend

I never knew protein sprinkles were actually a thing, but oh my gosh I'm so glad they are! My bf actually spotted these and we have been adding it on top of pancakes, waffles, and my morning oats. It's like treating yourself without doing any damage to your health, seeing as they have very little sugar in each serve. 


Dried Apricots

I'm all about those snacks that you can keep in your bag for those peckish moments. I am loving dried fruits at the moment and I forgot how good apricots are! Sour and sweet, so it feels like I'm eating candy. And they also give you a burst of vitamin C which is perfect for winter days at the moment. 


Bulla Frozen Yogurt Bars

In a bid to get more calcium in my day, I have rediscovered how amazing these are! It's the perfect evening treat and I am obsessed. They're so damn creamy and I don't feel as guilty than if I was eating ice cream (ignoring the fact that there's still sugar in them.) I'm seriously thinking of making my own with Greek yogurt and puree fruit. Blog post maybe?


Sunbites Snack Crackers: Caramelized onion and Balsamic 

Another snack obsession I have recently discovered and can't seem to stop eating them. The reason I look forward to my fortnightly shop is that I get to find new snacks like this! They kinda taste like corn chips, but with a little coating on top. Seriously tasty! 


Bonus Fav: Quorn Vegan Nuggets

As a veggie you do get jealous of whole chicken nugget obsession. It was actually my standard McDonald's order all those years ago. But god bless soy meats!






What are your current food favs? 
Steph x. 





Why I Should Never Quit Using Lush Products

Sunday, 17 June 2018





Yeah, you totally know I got the idea for this post in the shower. 

Yesterday I visited the only Lush store in my city and just like every time I visit, I'm hooked once again. Just the glorious smell of the place as you walk into the mall makes you want to stock up on everything in sight.

Does anyone else still get giddy when walking in?

You know whether you buy something or not, the products you test will leaving your skin so wonderfully soft. And it's always an experience smelling the bath bombs...

The only downside (apart from my budget) is that the store is on the other side of the city. BUT I really want to make it a priority to stick to the Lush products I love and really work well for me.
Here's why:




THEY SMELL SO DAMN GOOD

What do they put in their products? Seriously, it makes you want to be covered in it. Which makes my morning showers so much more luxurious. We all know Lush is great for self-care when you need it, and if you have your favorite scents around it's instant happiness! Anything zesty or honey infused is my jam. 


MY SKIN AND HAIR NEVER FEEL BETTER 

I bought my fav 9-5 cleanser and used it the night of. And BOOM the next day my skin tone was even and it all looked so smooth. That was probably when I had my "Why the hell did I stop using this stuff??" Supermarket brands full of chemicals never make me feel this good. Ever.

I also really want to go back to their shampoo bars and conditioners because DAMN they work wonders too. My poor hair gets neglected at the moment, being so overdue for a haircut and always in a ponytail. It needs some TLC and Lush is gonna be perfect. 


I LIKE THEIR MORALS

Being a vegetarian and someone who tries to have a small impact on the environment in order to help save it, I'm always picky about what brands I use. The fact that Lush are ethical buyers and against animal testing makes me really happy. Plus I also love that they recycle perfectly good pots and don't use plastic. 


THE LESS CHEMICALS THE BETTER

I've been more aware lately of preservatives in my food and chemicals in products that touch my skin. I'm not 100% a stickler for it because it can be quite difficult in the modern world, but I really want to try cut out chemicals where I can. The main reason I trust Lush is because their products expire reasonably quick. You know that means it's natural and don't have many nasty chemicals in it.




Are you with me too? I think we should all try stick to products that make us feel amazing everyday, and ones that match our morals too.

What Lush products can you not live without?
Steph x.



Awesome Posts To Read This Week #3

Saturday, 2 June 2018




Who's ready for some blog love!?

I will literally scroll my Bloglovin' feed and Twitter to find new posts to read everyday. Occasionally I come across some that make me just go "Wow this gal is on to something here!" 

I really love doing this series and highlighting some of my favs/new discoveries. I hate it when people say that blogging is dead, because the quality just keeps getting better.
Anyway, here's my favorite posts from the week! 




I've been following Elsie's blog/Instagram/use her app for a while now and I adore her a lot. She and her husband adopted the most precious girl from China and it's been so cool to follow along their journey. Today Elsie has shared how the early stages of the adoption felt and I would recommend anyone read it. It's heartfelt, realistic, and just gives you an insight into a part of life I've never know much about. Make sure you're following this gorgeous family for positive vibes every single day!



And she's done it again. Yet another Hannah Gale post I am obsessed with. I actually read this on my break at work and it gave me all the feels. I feel like she touches on a lot of thoughts all women have in their twenties. I think a lot of us have that internal battle between what mother nature tells us we want and what society/our own expectations want. I loved hearing her story and even though I'm not a mom yet, her journey has been a breath of fresh air for what it's really like. You beauty. 




One of the easiest, most delicious meals you can make and now I have a new recipe to try! As soon as I saw the picture for these come up on Twitter I was committing myself to trying these out. I'll normally make corn fritters on a week I wanna do something easy, and you can bet this will be my meal prep starting Monday. I get fascinated by what these girls are cooking and I'm so glad they are sharing recipes now. 


Petite Ellie: Ellie, Blogger, Broke. 

This post is just brilliant. She really goes into a side of blogging that, as she points out, we don't really approach. I am 100% with her and when she talks about not being able to afford all the luxuries you see other bloggers enjoying. Hell, I was excited to buy my new $10 foundation the other day after being out for a month! Am I any less of a blogger? Nope. Ellie teaching us there's no shame in struggling a little.


Lottie Does: Hashtags I Am Loving Right Now 

Thank you Lottie! I actually had no idea that #discoverunder5k was a thing even though I am constantly looking for smaller Instas to follow. My life has been changed! I also never knew there was a tag for Disney-related outfits. My afternoon scroll just got a whole lot more fun.


What posts have you been loving lately?
Steph x.



6 Things I Promise To Make Time For

Friday, 25 May 2018





Can we just take a second to note that this little nugget is almost six months old! You hear people say that they can't imagine life without their pups and it's 100% true. I don't know what I would do now without my fluffy ball of cheekiness. 

Back to the topic at hand, you know when life gets busy and you suddenly realize it's time to step back and look at things. I'm definitely guilty of saying "There's never enough time in the day." 

Uh oh, that makes me an adult doesn't it?

Says the same girl that almost cried at the Christopher Robin trailer this morning. Never mind, I'm still safe. 

But seriously, life moves waaay too fast and it's time to make some priorities. I'm talking about the fun stuff, the times you remember five years later. 


Taking Enzo on adventures
Now that our little spoodle is getting bigger, it's always fun to take him to new places. Sometimes he still gets scared and will jump into my arms (which I secretly love) but I really want to focus on getting his confidence up. While his bones are growing and we can't take him far yet, I'm gonna come up with some adventures that I know will make our little family happy.


Going through my Pinterest boards
I've spent the last three days going through one of my boards and putting them into categories. It's a bloody good time for someone like me who finds it so satisfying. Although I realized there were 2500 pins to go through, but oh well! It's been time well spent and I'm planning on doing the same for more boards too.


Writing a goals list for the day + setting a reward for when I do
I was actually watching Cherry Wallis on YouTube (love that girl) and someone asked her in a Q&A how she stayed organized, and this is what she said. I'm starting to think I need to have a list on my phone or a whole notebook dedicated to my daily goals. Things like cooking meal prep or getting a new blog up. I always need a good list to keep me on track, so this is a great habit to start.


Working on my recipe book
Or just trying new recipes in general. I love to cook, and to bake, and to eat. Especially the eating part. I always go through phases on being inspired, then end up focusing on something else for a while. But I would love to start trying a new recipe a week and trying to perfect the ones I have already come up with.


Making Memories with loved ones
Even if it's just taking our dinner to eat at the beach or going out for ice cream. I wanna make sure we don't get to comfortable and forget to have fun when we can. I'm really lucky that Steve and I have the same days off so we always have that chance of doing something together.


DIY Projects
Taking it back to Pinterest, who else wants to live more creatively? I used to love spending my Sundays getting stuck into a project. I wanna stick cool patches on a jean jacket and make old frames new again for a photo collage. I'm definitely gonna be setting some stuff up because it can be so fun!




I know there are never enough hours in the day, but it's all about making priorities and doing things that make you happy. Hopefully I can come back to this post and remind myself to slow down and make time. 

BTW, does anyone want a six month puppy update? 
Have a great week everyone! 
Steph x. 





My Strategy For A Better Instagram

Sunday, 13 May 2018





I absolutely love that Instagram as a way of micro-blogging, even when we don't realize we are doing it. I've always felt satisfied being able to take cute pictures that I'm proud of, taking far too long to come up with a witty caption, and adding it to a feed that keeps getting better (hopefully.) 

I think we have all be colossally stuck on a particular number of followers and even if engagement seems good, that damn number never moves more than a few figures either way. It's a burden we all must face, but nevertheless I stay loyal to Instagram as I pathetically couldn't live without it. 

I've been rather uninspired for a while, as you do, but lately I've had that wonderful spark of creativity and motivation that has me running to Pinterest for ideas. 

I started brainstorming all the ways I could not only grow my Instagram naturally, but to also feel less lonely on the app too. Will it work? Only time and maybe some magic fairy dust will tell. 


1. Post Everyday

Even if it's a throwback to my vacation last year, I want to make sure content is going up on a daily basis. The people I remember most on Instagram are the ones that post stories everyday and pictures to go with it. The effort is there and it seems to be paying off for a lot of people. My life isn't that exciting for me to be going out everyday for lunch to take food pics, so I will be planning each day in a notebook and keep weekend photos/ideas at the ready. 


2. Be Proud Of My Content

Who doesn't enjoy that satisfying feeling of clicking onto your icon, seeing the pictures you've posted lately and absolutely loving it? 

I do!

It feels bloody amazing to be proud of what you're sharing with the world. Getting the right angle/lighting/editing it just right takes a lot of skill. I need to be putting as much effort into my photos as the poor fashion bloggers who are freezing cold in their gorgeous outfits to get the gram.  
Legends. 


3. Creative Food Photography

This is an area I have been wanting to dive in to for quite some time now and it feels like the right path. I used to love doing baking posts, mainly for displaying my final product and taking mouthwatering photos of it all. I have so many ideas saved on Pinterest boards for when I have the time to really practice my skills. I want to be trying new recipes and setting up beautiful pics to go with them. 


4. Start Sharing Recipes

This is one of the main reasons I will follow certain food bloggers on Instagram, as I feel like they offer you a lot of value for simply following them. They normally give you secret recipes you won't find in a cookbook, and it's almost always good for you. I love seeing what other people use to make protein pancakes, banana bread, or how they flavor different meats (obvs to keep the boyfriend happy.) I want to be able to offer my followers the same secret recipes, so look forward to lots of ideas in the coming future!


5. Engage More

I've always found it fun to surf through hashtags and see what other bloggers/food enthusiasts are posting about. I'll always go through and like a whole bunch, as well as follow new peeps, but I need to get better at leaving comments. I always appreciate comments on my own pictures, meaning they were good enough for someone to stop scrolling. Engagement is always up to you and I'm gonna work hard on it.




Who else has been hit with motivation for Instagram lately? It's a tricky app, I know. But I love it all the same.

Do you have any tips for a better Instagram?

BTW you can find me here! Steph x.





Why I'm More Than My 9 to 5

Sunday, 6 May 2018




Hello, my name is Steph. 

I am a cook
a runner
a CrossFitter
a blogger
amateur food photographer
a dog mom
a house-keeper
a reader
occasional gardener

and a proud Hufflepuff.  

I work a normal 9-5 job that keeps a roof over our heads and food on the table. 

Am I happy? Yeah I am. Because I've found that success in life doesn't just come from your career. 


I am a believer that millennial kids have it harder these days than when our parents were our age. We are encouraged to go study at University, which is always great life experience. Especially for book nerds like me who weren't ready for the learning part of life to end. 

But after uni?

I think we all question whether we picked the right subjects. Especially when job hunting is an anxiety-filled black hole of scary stuff. And the number one requirement? Experience. How are we gonna get the job when no one hires fresh out of uni kids? Ah dilemmas. 

So when you're faced with the gut-wrenching question of "what did you do with your degree" and your stomach gets a knot while you scramble for an impressive answer. You have to remind yourself that you are more than a job. Adults don't always get it, but that's only because they probably haven't faced what we do today. 

I'll admit that I do become ashamed of my own failures career-wise. But then I open blogger, or Instagram, and I'm reminded of the possibilities I still have. 

Which brings me to a favorite topic of mine: Social Media. 
And I'm not talking in the bad influence, but in how creative and artistic it has made a good part of our generation, and those behind us, become. Just this morning I was scrolling tags on Instagram and admiring how much work goes into getting that perfect table spread for a restaurant flat-lay. Or that orange color-scheme that fits every picture uploaded, with different locations, poses, outfits, weather conditions etc. You can't tell me being Instagram famous isn't a job. 

That beautiful feed is art, man.   

I just love that people are creating beautiful images out of everyday delights. I know it's a highlight reel, but I find it so inspiring and a break from the mundane. My job isn't exciting, but the days I get to spend creating seem so much more precious because of it. It's always time well spent if you ask me. 

I think if you truly want to see a person's character, just look at how they spend their time off work. 

Do they go hiking, visit family, take the dog for a walk, scrapbook, volunteer, go clubbing, go to the gym, or just simply do nothing for the sake of it? That's where you'll see someones passion in life, not in the job they had to settle for because life isn't always golden. But we'll get there.

Some of us have learnt to dance in the rain while we wait for the storm to pass. 




Do you ever feel like this with your job?
Steph x.