Happy Things You Should Know About Pregnancy

Monday, 26 November 2018

When it comes to the art of having babies and creating life (because that's how totally awesome women are) I've found that there is a lot of negativity surrounding the process. 

Yes, everyone is happy for you but the weirdest thing happens sometimes.
They're dying for you to complain about it. 

Or you'll follow mommy bloggers on Instagram and after a while you realize they can't caption a post without mentioning a negative of parenthood. It can put people off the idea of children, not to mention dampen someones day. Unfollowed. 

I, myself, have always wanted to appreciate every single part of this journey. I'm so grateful to even be able to experience it and every single kick I feel makes me so happy. 

So to put out some positive vibes into the world of #pregnantlife I'm gonna talk about all the happy things you can experience during this crazy beautiful time in your life!

It's the ultimate time for self-care
You soon learn in your first trimester that you have to take it easy on days where your body is adjusting. You can take a much-needed nap, get a foot-rub from your partner, or soak in a Lush bath. I'm not saying you should quit the gym or not get outside (because gentle excerise really helps!) but self-care is your best-friend in the coming months. 

It's a whole new world! 
I never realized how connected the parent world really is. When Moms find out you're pregnant they immediately want to support you and ask all the cute questions. You understand all the pregnant people around you (and trust me, you'll notice them) so you feel like you have support all the time. I know I can chat to mommy bloggers about stuff. It's really cool! 

You know all those adorable baby clothes your uterus has told you to buy all these years? 
Well, now you can! 
Baby shopping is the best. I would so much rather shop for my son than myself already, especially with how adorable all the stuff is. I will happily admit that I used to browse it all once in a while pre-pregnancy, so now that I can I am enjoying every minute of it. It's also great bonding time if you take your Mom, BFF, partner, sister, or baby-buddy with you. 

You'll know love all the time
I've never talked about this with anyone, but ever since I knew he was inside me I get this rush of a feeling every so often that's just LOVE. Like the love that people talk about when it comes to a new life and it's indescribable. Honestly the best feeling in the world and I can't wait until his arrival so I can have that love in my arms. 

You get to wear comfy clothes everyday
This is one of the advantages for sure, especially if you're like me and you live in gym clothes anyway. You're first trimester will likely be filled with lots of bloating, so dig out your yoga pants and best hoodies early. Now that it's summer time I get to dress bump in my favorite dresses to keep cool. No more uncomfortable jeans!

Just a few of the positives I've discovered on my pregnancy journey so far. It definitely has it's ups and downs, but if you choose to focus on the good I promise you will enjoy the experience so much more.

Let me know in the comments what your favorite part of pregnancy is, or what you're looking forward to most!

Steph x.

My Pre-Baby Summer Bucket List

Sunday, 4 November 2018

While everyone on Twitter and Instagram are getting in the full cozy Autumn spirit, I have been soaking up every sunny day I can. This is my absolute favorite time of year and I'm so excited it's come around again! November/December means bright nights, barbecues, Christmas music, baking, and wearing all the dresses I have to neglect throughout the year. 

Obviously things are going to be changing a lot around here soon. I'm almost halfway through this pregnancy now (OMG) and this is our last summer before we have a little one to share it with. I thought it would be a good idea to make a pre-baby bucket list to make sure I have no regrets this summer. I live in such a beautiful city and don't want to enjoy it during my favorite season. 

Go out for real-fruit ice cream

Picnic at the botanical gardens

Take Enzo to the beach. A lot. 

Find different walks to do

Try new Christmas recipes

Plant vegetables and flowers

Visit the zoo

Host a barbecue

Take lots of pictures

Get back into canvas painting (for baby's room) 

Go out on a brunch date 

Go to a Christmas market

Get dressed up and go out for dinner

Have the best baby shower ever

Try out some home improvements

Send Christmas cards out

Celebrate Enzo's first birthday with a pupcake

What would be on your summer bucket list? We live close to a beach, so I would love some suggestions! Summer is the best time of year to me.

Steph x. 

First Trimester Saviors

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Now that the big news is out I can finally chat about all the things that have been making this time A LOT easier. I'm in my second trimester now and it's true what they say, there really is a lot of hope on the horizon. At 16 weeks along I am officially over the daily nausea and my energy is coming back. I'm even back to running with my Mum on the weekends and feeling really good about it. 

If you're newly pregnant (congrats!) or know someone that is I hope this post helps in some way. Or even if you're like me and have always been curious about pregnancy and wanna learn some tips now. I'm more than happy to share what made the hardest trimester a little easier. 

Yoga Pants 
And I'm talking the stretchiest, most comfy pairs you can get your hands on. I was bloated for the longest time, so I never wanted to wear jeans. Then once the 11/12 weeks bump came in (cutest feeling ever!) anything tight got really uncomfortable. It's like wearing a wire bra all day, you know the feeling? Pregnancy is the best excuse to wear your comfiest leggings, so embrace it!

Sugar-Free Hot Chocolate 
If coffee is a big part of your routine, like me, sometimes you need a hot beverage in the afternoon. I started craving fluffy hot chocolates and found a brand that does an amazing sugar-free version! Since I've craved sour gummy candy this whole pregnancy, it's a great way to keep my sugar levels down.

Berry Smoothies
I've been really diligent with my nutrition throughout my pregnancy, with my baby's growth and well-being in mind. But food aversions can make it impossible to want to eat anything other than mac and cheese. Luckily, being a fruit fanatic my go-to morning breakfast became berry smoothies. They're amazing because you can pack them with so many super-foods to make sure your body is getting what it needs to grow a healthy bubs. Oats, spinach, banana, natural yogurt, and berries for vitamin c.

Snacks. Snacks. Snacks!
Since your eating will be all over the place (thanks hormones) you never know when you'll actually feel hungry again or just need something to settle your stomach. My bag has been filled with snack containers constantly and it's made my day so much easier. Things like crackers, dried fruit, nuts, or rice cakes are amazing to keep handy. I found a brand of crackers I was obsessed with and it was such a comfort to have them with me constantly.

Fellow Pregnant Gals On Social Media
Carly Rowena, Colleen Ballinger, and a few IRL girls I know from school have been giving me inspo for what might be coming my way, and maybe why I'm so lucky I haven't been very sick. I love looking at baby hauls and what foods people have been craving. I love following pregnancies anyway but it's even more fun when you're expecting too. No one wants to feel alone on this journey, so follow all the girls that help keep good vibes.

Let me know how you might have found the first trimester and what helped. Or if you just wanna chat about how amazing yoga pants are, leave me a comment down below!

Steph x.



Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Another day, another blogger announces she's pregnant!

On New Years I tweeted something like : 
2017 Plant Mom
2018 Dog Mom
2019 Real Mom 

And what would you know? Our little jelly bean is due April 2019 and we are so excited! And not to mention relieved that this is not a Christmas baby. Of the six of us in my immediate family, five of us have birthdays in December. It's already a crazy month!

So was this all planned? Actually yes. 

I know Steve and I aren't married yet or own our home, but we had an emotional couple of months thinking I was pregnant (on accident) when I wasn't. I had every symptom under the sun, but all tests were negative. I still have no idea what was going on with my body but it made us ask each other if we wanted to start a family. And of course we did :) 

I've always loved the idea of being pregnant and in those few months I had embraced the idea of this new role. I've wanted it my whole life and the timing right now feels perfect. It feels like the biggest blessing. 

How have I been feeling in the first trimester? 

I've felt super-lucky to have had such a mild case of nausea these past few months. I've only skipped a couple of meals and haven't had to take any time off work. Although I have stopped training CrossFit, not because it's dangerous but I've been feeling like I'll throw up if I do anything intense. Food aversions make it a little hard as there's usually only one thing you feel like. For me it's been ALL the carbs: mac and cheese, toast, any kind of potato dish, cheese pizza. 

My other cravings have been: 
Sour Candy
Tuna Subway subs
Tuna Sushi
Tomato crackers

And on our holiday in Hawaii all I ever wanted was a big bowl of guacamole. 
My craving today is freshly baked rolls with lots of butter. 

I miss runny poached eggs so much. And McDonald's soft serve.  And eating sushi without worrying I'm gonna get some kind of disease. I went off porridge and scrambled eggs for the longest time. It's so hard to eat healthy when you only want carbs!
But what I'm getting at the end will make all of it worth it.

So what's the plan now? 

I've been slowly buying baby bits (that I'm excited to share!) And I'll do a whole post on how were are prepping for baby on a budget. I'm going to start doing my 365 Days of Happy posts again and maybe some pregnancy Day In The Life ones where I share cravings, hauls, and the usual stuff. My boyfriend even thought it would be a great idea to start a new mommy Instagram where I share 365 days stuff on there too, sort of as a way to document my pregnancy and then bubs arrival. It would be super cool to look back on. 

So you can expect baby as well as wedding stuff, and the usual lifestyle posts.

So come join me on this super scary and exciting journey!
Let me know if you are curious about anything or if you are expecting too. I want to document everything about this time of my life. 

Steph x. 

3 Things Making Me Happy Right Now

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Pardon the absence. Again. I promise I will tell you why soon, but exciting times are coming! 

I thought I would get back into blogging in a very gentle and simple way by talking about some good things making me a happy girl right now. To be honest, I have been in a really good place since coming back from our vacation a week ago. Who knew I needed to relax so much! 

Is anyone else getting more and more excited for this time of year? We have all the fun holidays coming up, the weather is changing, and the best of all, Christmas chocolates will hit the shelves soon!

Wedding Planning
If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen in my stories that Steve and I got engaged in Hawaii! It was all so perfect and I might do a separate post on it. I honestly couldn't be happier to be marrying my best friend and believe me when I say I've been thinking about our wedding long before he got down on one knee. I'm that girl, and when you know, you know.

So of course the planning has started and it's right up my alley with lists and notebooks for ideas. It's a lot of fun already! My Pinterest is bursting with ideas and I'm gonna have a planning session with my bridesmaids soon. This is my jam guys, I'm in my element now.

Christmas is on the horizon!
Believe me, I know. Fifteen year old me would have gasped and said: "Steph, for goodness sake it's only the start of September!" But after a few years of being in the blogging world and watching far too much YouTube I have learned one very important thing: The British really know how to celebrate the holiday season. And I can't help but join in every time now.

I blame Zoella. (Kidding of course, I still adore her.)

But I saw a mere mention of Christmas on Twitter the other day and BOOM all I wanted to do was watch some Christmas films and plan out what festive baking I wanted to do. Slightly pathetic I know, but ever since I've been watching Zoella's vlogmas videos during the day and it's making me happy! I'm already so excited for December and I like being in this festive little bubble at the moment. I'm living for the day I can put up my sparkly tree!

Spring Weather 
We seemed to have had one of those Winter seasons full of cloudy days and cooler than normal temps. But there is cause for celebration because Spring is here! The mornings are getting so sunny and the day stays lighter until about six. I live for those summery evenings where you can still go out and enjoy yourself, and this weather is reminding me that those times are coming! Spring/Summer is my absolute favorite time of year and I'm so looking forward to our first barbecue.

That's it guys, three things that are making me such a happy girl these days! Even when work gets a bit crazy, I just look outside and see the sun and it gives me life. 

What's making you happy these days? And most importantly, are you excited for Christmas too?!
Steph x.

My Simple Ramen Miso Bowl

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Ready for a flavorful and warming recipe you can make in less than twenty minutes? 
I'm all for quick meals that really hit the spot and this is my latest obsession.

It's a meal to have when you need some soul-warming sustenance, but a sandwich just won't do.  

Miso is a Japanese invention and has so many amazing uses. It's a seriously good marinade for tofu or coating for roasted cauliflower. The soup packets I bought only cost me $2.50, so it's a very inexpensive way to get more experimental with your meals. 

You will need: 

2 Spring Onions
1/2 cup frozen sweet corn
Instant Miso Soup Packets
Precooked Udon Noodles
1 cup (250mls) of water

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a small saucepan over a medium heat. 
While it's warming up, chop your spring onions and set aside the leafy ends for a garnish later. 

Add the onions and frozen corn to the pan and cook until the corn is cooked. You don't want to brown them. 

Add a serve of miso soup/paste. I actually add two, but stick with one if you are getting used to the taste. Quickly add one cup of water to the pan too. Bring it to a simmer and add the noodles. 

Stir to make sure the noodles separate from each other and let it cook for only a minute or two. 

Pour into a bowl and let it cool for a few minutes. 

Sprinkle the green ends of the spring onion on top and enjoy! 

You can use whatever noodles you like, udon happens to be my favorite. 
Soba noodles would be great if you're after some protein, or you can stick with the traditional ramen. 

Add whatever vegetables tickle your fancy too. Or top with a boiled egg for texture and nutrients.

It's an "enjoy it your own way" kind of meal!

What would be in your dream ramen bowl?
Steph x.

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. 


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.