Instagram Round-up: June

Monday, 29 June 2015

Definitely putting a lot more effort into my pictures this month and I'm quite proud of them. Hard work and exploring is always worth it! Instagram is still my favorite social media, I could scroll through my feed for hours!

Who are some of your favorite Instagramer's?

Follow me here

'Til next time x. 

June 2015 Playlist

Sunday, 28 June 2015

I'm one of these people who has to change up their music quite often, which means I also go back to songs I was listening to 6 months ago and start loving them again. As a disclaimer, I have a shameless of pop music, no matter how mainstream. It puts me in the best mood!

Thanks to Mr Ben Brown for this one, gets me pumped in the car on my way to work

MKTO - Bad Girls 
Probably my current favorite song, also probably the one I sing the loudest to in the car

One Direction - No Control
Gotta have a it of rock and roll in my day

Imagine Dragons - I'm So Sorry
For when I needed to feel like more of a bad-ass, especially at the gym

Little Mix - Little Me
For those self-doubt moments

I have to listen to this kind of techno when I need to be productive. Love it!

5 Seconds of Summer - End up Here 
 Reminds me of some of the punk stuff I used to listen to as a teenager; still just as awesome

The Cab - Stand Up
Another gym song; been playing this for over a year and I still love it 

One Direction - Clouds
My current favorite song off their latest album

One of those rediscovery songs, now that the radio isn't playing it ten times a day

Taylor Swift feat. Kendrick Lamar - Bad Blood
I prefer this to the original version; also for feeling like a bad-ass

Little Mix - See Me Now
For a confidence boost in pursuing the big stuff

What songs have you been listening to this month? x. 

 Twitter - @MarvelSteph91
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Recipe of the week: Lime and Avocado Tart

Saturday, 27 June 2015

I owe the inspiration of this recipe to my favorite cafe, Pure Cafe Co. for serving these mini tarts, and it's safe to say that they didn't last long! I searched Pinterest for the perfect recipe, however, I came across ones with far too much honey and coconut oil to be called "healthy", but with my imaginative cooking skills I managed to combine several recipes to produce one of my favorite desserts ever!

 The brilliant part about this dessert is that it's super easy and quick as the food processor will do all of the work for you and there's no cooking involved at all! If you're planning a dinner party or summer BBQ this recipe would be perfect since you can make it early, put it in the freezer and forget about it until you need to serve it.

If you're a bit unsure about using avocados in a dessert, have no fear as you won't even taste them. It's more of an ingredient used for body and creaminess than flavor, you'll only taste the lime.

 Makes: 4 smaller tarts or one large
Time: 20min to make, 2hours freezer time

  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut 
  • 1/2 nuts (I used cashews, hazelnuts and almonds)
  • 1/2 cup dates
  • Zest of a lime
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbs coconut oil, melted
(Note: If you're on a budget and don't want to pay ridiculous prices for nuts (and they can be absolutely ridiculous!) then you can always opt for a basic biscuit base with some added lime zest)

  • 2 avocados (1 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • Juice of a lemon
  •  1 Tbs honey
  • Zest of a lime
  • 1 Tbs coconut oil, melted 
(Note: This recipe makes the crust/filling ratio 1:1, so if you prefer more filling then add another 1/2 cup avocado and tablespoon of lime juice)


Grease the bottom of your tart cases with coconut (or canola oil)

Put all of your crust ingredients into a food processor and blitz until the nuts are in small pieces and the mix will hold together. Add extra oil if needed

Spoon the mix into tart cases and press firmly to line the bottom evenly
Put the tarts in the freezer while you make the filling

Wash your food processor then add all of the filling ingredients. Blitz until creamy
Make sure you taste the mix to ensure there is enough lime. Add some extra honey if it is too sour for your liking

Take the tarts out of the freezer and evenly spoon in your lime and avocado filling. Don't worry if you think there isn't enough filling, I prefer it when there is about half crust and half of the lime mix.
Set in the freezer for two hours
Leave them out for 15-20min to soften before you are ready to serve 

Enjoy! x. 

Top 5 Bucketlist Destinations

Saturday, 20 June 2015

While I can be quite the home-body, I do love jumping on a plane and going somewhere new. I come from a family of travelers and with my older brother's BMX racing I was lucky enough to travel the length of New Zealand by the time I was 10.
Now that I'm in my twenties I'm making it my goal to travel somewhere new each year, no matter what it does to my bank account...

In no particular order:

Cherry blossoms, the food, an Alice in Wonderland themed restaurant, and beautiful gardens. What more could you ask for in a holiday?

Thanks to Mr Ben Brown vlogs I am dying to go on an adventure holiday to Canada. With mountain biking, helicopter instagram missions, zip lining, and going on the Olympic Bobsled track, it should be quite the adrenaline filled trip!

I absolutely love getting lost in cities, because you never know what you will stumble across (Mum and me found the back of the White House whilst in Washington). London just seems like such an interesting city, not to mention the museums and Harry Potter sights to satisfy my nerdy side.

I can't get over how beautiful and charming this place looks. It seems like the perfect place to balance exploring, relaxing and adventure all in one trip!

I wrote my honors thesis on the events at Pompeii and studying Roman social history was my favorite subject to study. I feel like this would be one of the most interesting places to visit as there's really not many others like it. Also, you get to explore and relax in beautiful Naples afterwards!

What are your top 5 places to travel?

(Photo credit: Pinterest)

Current TBR Books

Monday, 15 June 2015

I'm fairly sure that it's an inherent bookworm trait, but I have that terrible habit of buying about five new books by the time I've read one (thank you Book Depository!) I have an entire shelf dedicated to such books, and if I'm being perfectly honest, I am very nearly out of room. So I decided to sort through them all and pick out my top five to-be-read books. 

1. The Bone Season, by Samantha Shannon 

This was a recommendation from one of my favorite YouTubers and fellow bookworm, Carrie Hope Fletcher. She received an advanced copy and raved about it in one of her videos, so I know it's going to be good. In short, it's about a girl who illegally breaks into people's minds and is then kidnapped. I'm loving books that are lead by strong heroines at the moment and I think this one won't disappoint. My only worry is that the copy I received has tiny print so I might need to take regular breaks when I sit down to read it!
Goodreads page

2. Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell

I'm quite ashamed of myself for taking so long to pick up this book. I mean, if there's ever a biography written about me "Fangirl" will be the title for sure. I've heard nothing but good things about this book and it's author so far, and I know you're not supposed to judge a book by it's cover but I am so in love with this one!

3. The Heroes of Olympus: Son of Neptune, by Rick Riodan

 I really enjoyed the first book in this series, as well as the entire Percy Jackson saga, so I decided to pick up the second book. I love a good adventure novel now and again, and Percy Jackson is my usual go-to. Rick Riodan is pretty talented at creating memorable characters and introducing them throughout a series, so I know I won't be disappointed.
Goodreads page

4. Carrier of the Mark, by Leigh Fallon

 I can't resist a fantasy/romance book; definitely a guilty pleasure of mine. Upon reading the blurb it reminded me of a lot of books that I used to enjoy reading years ago. It seems to run along a similar story line to Beautiful Creatures which is a favorite of mine, so I'm dying to start this one.
Goodreads page

5. The Witch of Little Italy, by Suzanne Palmieri 

 I picked this up recently and thought it would make for a nice read. It's a story about magic, family and a bit of mystery to top it off. There seems to be good and bad reviews about it online (which, let's be honest, most books have), but I'm still looking forward to it.
Goodreads page

I will have reviews up on all of these as I get through them. Let me know if you have read of these books or have any recommendations for me!
Until next time x.

Photography Spotlight: San Francisco (Part 1)

Saturday, 13 June 2015


I had a surprising amount of fun taking pictures at Alcatraz and the outside was quite beautiful. I do have quite a few more pictures, especially around the Golden Gate bridge so look forward to part two! I promise my editing skills will improve soon as well.
Until next time x.

Mid-week Motivation!

Thursday, 11 June 2015

My mother always told me "If you don't love yourself, no one will", and as I'm getting older I've come to realize how true this is. The same goes for believing in yourself and what you want to achieve. I think we all have days where our confidence wavers and we have to pick ourselves back up again, and today was one of those days.
I was at the gym, feeling very tired from lack of sleep (about 12 hours in the last two days) and frustrated with my new workout. Plus, there were boys around and I wasn't exactly feeling the best. I had that typical "Will I ever be pretty, slim or cool enough?" thought. Cue a few hours and a short nap later, and I'm now back to being able to function slightly better and look at things a lot differently.

We all know that confidence is key and it starts with taking care of and respecting yourself. For example, after I get a good nights rest I will tackle that new gym workout and continue to work on the things that make me happy and confident.

Lesson of today: Everyone has insecurities and flaws. We can choose to either hide them and let them haunt us, or we can be confident in what makes us unique. I know it's all a bit cheesy, but I think we need to be reminded of this sometimes. If you believe that you're awesome (and you should!), that confidence will carry your far.

Until next time x. 

(Photo Credit:,

Current looks I'm loving!

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Wrap a-rounds
I love taking a basic outfit and adding to it with a striped or checkered top. I usually wear black tights, plain top and wrap my red tartan shirt round my waist.

Crop top + Midi skirt
This is just such a classic look and you don't have to show too much skin. You can Audrey Hepburn inspired with a black and white combo, or play with colors. 

 Leather Jackets
Nothing makes you instantly cooler than a well-fitting leather jacket. It can take a basic outfit to a whole new level. Definitely an item to go for on those days where you just don't know what to wear. 

 Bold Boots
Sometimes the shoes you wear can make up an entire outfit. Especially in the colder months when we are all living out of our favorite jackets. I have leopard print boots just like these and I LOVE them. Bold high-tops also work!

Casual Nike's and comfy hoodies!
 Let's face it, this look isn't just for long journeys. Perfect for when you want to be both comfortable and stylish. 

Ripped White Jeans
I'll admit I am hesitant to wear white jeans, as I typically manage to drop food on nice clothing. But this is just such a fresh look and is perfect for the warmer or colder months.

I love experimenting with trends, especially as the seasons change. I keep a board on Pinterest that I update regularly if you are interested in seeing more of my favorite fashion looks.

Let me know in the comments what looks you have been loving, and I will talk to you again soon! x.

(Photo credit: all links found on my Pinterest page).

Twitter - @MarvelSteph91
Instagram - @marvelsteph
Pinterest - marvelsteph