SURPRISE!

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
Falafel
Oranges
Apples
Noodles
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. 

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.