My Travel Journal Kit!

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Hello Everyone!

One of my favorite things about going on an exciting trip is having fun documenting it and being able to look back on the memories later. You guys know how much I love journals as well, so of course I can't pass up the opportunity to buy a new one for an upcoming vacation! 

I started doing this a couple years ago when I went to the States for a month and found some fun ways of documenting our time there. I found it quite relaxing to do when I had some downtime at night, or even when we were waiting at the airport. It's one of my all-time favorite projects to work on, seeing as it mixes travel with creativity. I thought I would show you my little journal kit that I always take with me to have fun being creative on holiday.

My Journal! 

On my first trip to the states, I took with me a journal that one of my really good friends had bought for me on my 21st birthday. It was an amazing leather-bound one from kikki K that was absolutely perfect. Since I loved it so much, I decided to go back and get another one from the same store and managed to find this cute one (on sale too!) What I love about these the most is the writing prompts throughout the journal, so you can document things like Here and Now or My Day On A Plate. It just makes both writing it and reading it later on so much more fun. There's also tonnes of room for pictures to go in and a section for food and shopping recommendations too. These are definitely my go-to travel journals!

A Rainbow of Pens + Case 

A bit obvious, but important nonetheless. I like taking tonnes of different colors with me to make the pages look pretty. I can use a different color for writing each day to make them stand out more too. I like bringing a Sharpee with me as well, because it has come in handy several times before. Maybe even for getting some signatures at Disney!
My pencil case is from Typo and it's super-light weight, as well as being able to be flattened down so it won't take up much room in my bag. I will probably keep some of my other journal accessories in here too for easy storage.

A Collecting Pocket 

My favorite part of travel journals is keeping all of my ticket stubs and brochures and turning the pages into a collage of what I've been up to. Some travel journals have that handy pocket at the back, but since my new one doesn't I'm just bringing a clear file with me to keep everything together. Paper clips can be really useful too. Here's what I keep:

Post cards
 Business Cards
Food Wrappers 
Money (notes)

It's also where I'm going to keep my journal stickers etc. so that they don't get damaged while we travel.

Instax Camera + Film

For me this is easiest way to get a few snapshots into my journal as I travel. It's a bit of a pain to have to wait until you get back to print pictures, so this is my on-the-go solution. They're the perfect size for an A5 journal too. Plus, how cool are Polaroids? My awesome friend got me the Alice in Wonderland film for my birthday last year, so I'm definitely going to be using that in the LA/Disney part of the trip. 


Double sided tape / Scissors
This is a really tidy way of sticking in any Instax pictures or other mementos you collect along the way. I usually cut a few strips to keep in my pencil case if I working on my journal at the airport. Just remember to keep your scissors in your check-in bag!

Making the collages of ticket stubs etc. that I've collected is always my favorite part and adding stickers makes the pages look awesome. I picked up this book from Typo and I am in love with some of the designs. It was only $11, so it's not going to break the bank and it fits the theme of an American holiday.
Then I have some alphabet ones too, so that I can personalize pages and have titles for the places we go. I actually bought this for my first travel journal and luckily there are so many sheets of them that I have plenty for this trip too!

Washi Tape
Just to have a little bit more fun with making collages! I bought these for my Bullet Journal and they're really great for making borders around pictures and titles. It will be cute for using to stick down my Polaroid photos and all the ticket-stubs I collect. They fit easily into my pencil case and you don't need scissors to cut strip off. It will make it easier for me to get some work done on my journal on flights or in the car while we drive.

And that's it! Everything I take with me to document my time traveling. I can't tell you how excited I am to work on this again soon.

Do you like to keep a travel journal?
Steph x.

Daily Blog: My Full Leg Workout & What I Ate!

Friday, 29 July 2016

Happy Thursday! We're so close to the weekend now. 

I've been really good and went to the gym twice a day all week, but I woke up at about 3am and my whole body was aching, so I thought I should skip my morning workout to rest up. There's no point training myself to the ground and I'll still get a good session in a little later. 

So happy it's time for breakfast! I made my usual protein porridge with banana and tamarillos on top. I like adding some honey to it as well, just because the fruit can be a bit sour.

Making some more granola because my Mum snacks on it like there's no tomorrow. I just mix together: walnuts, macadamias, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut, raisins, chopped dates, cinnamon, coconut oil and maple syrup. Most amazing granola I've ever tried!

Time to hit the gym! I definitely needed the rest this morning.

I thought I would take you through my whole leg workout today, which is always the best day at the gym (besides boxing, of course.) My warm-up today was a bit of cardio on the SkillMill, my gym's new toy. It's self-powered and the resistance power is crazy, I can only handle level four at the moment. Leaning forward on the bars really gets your calves and glutes burning! I adjusted the resistance every minute to push myself.

Next up was my gym love: Squats. I always put on 40kg then add more as I go. I've really been concentrating on my depth and keeping my knees parallel through the whole movement. I also squat best in my socks!
I did 5 sets of 8-10 reps.

I like doing some circuit training and cardio as a follow-up from strength training. For this one I did:
Box push 30-60kgs, 1 lap
Glute Kickbacks, 12 reps each leg
Bulgarian split squats 6kg, 12 reps each leg
Doing them one after another is killer, but really great for endurance.

Next I did another circuit of:

Side Leg Presses 40-50kg, 15 reps each leg
Frog Squat Jump, 12 reps
Wide Side to Side Squats, 15 reps each leg 
And repeat three times!

Finishing up the leg part of my workout with a 5 minute session on the Wattbike. This machine never fails to get me sweating!

I did a little bit of core work today too. To get my abs activated, I did 15 reps of swiss ball roll outs  and crunch over benches with my legs raised for an extra challenge (20reps.) I do three sets of both. Final exercise was a couple sets of Oblique Jack Knifes to help tone my sides.

Finally done and I am starving! I bought a couple of my favorite protein balls from the cafe next door. These are so incredible, I could live on them.

Time for lunch and a much needed coffee. I went for the avocado smash and I'm so grateful for the extra protein.

Back home from the mall and I managed to pick up both items that I was after today. I really needed another Goodness moisturizer that I like to keep in my bag. I also picked up this sticker book from Typo for my travel journal! Beyond excited to use these soon.

I'm in need of more food, so I'm just having one of my meal prep containers to keep me going until dinner time. I'm loving having soba noodles again.

Just been doing some boring bank/budget stuff and arranging a surprise present for my Mum's birthday! She's going to love it.

Since I've been out pretty much all day, I'm having a very easy dinner tonight. It's GF/DF toast with salmon, spinach and cream cheese on top, with some veges on the side. It was what I was craving most, and I could use the carbs for the gym tomorrow.

I'm just getting some blog work done, watching season four of Chuck and having a light dessert. Nothing beats yogurt and fruit with some of my paleo granola!

I hope you enjoyed seeing what I got up to at the gym! That was such a great session, I wish everyday could be leg day.

Would you guys like to see more full workouts?
Steph x.

Blueberry & Oat Protein Pikelets!

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Seeing as breakfast is my favorite part of the day, I'm always looking to try and create new recipes. My morning staples are always blueberries, almond milk, and oats, so finding different variations can be fun. These pikelets are a new favorite of mine and I can't get enough of them. This is a recipe that I've adapted from my favorite Auzzie cook, Lola Berry, who I have mentioned a million times before. Her cookbooks are always full of healthy recipes and tips for general well-being too. I can't recommend her enough if you are looking for clean-eating ideas, or if you have food allergies.

This recipe is super-quick to make, I will quite often come home from the gym and whip some of these up in about twenty minutes. This recipe will make one large serving or two smaller serves, but I'm always up for devouring quite a few, so this is one serving for me. They're super-filling and have such a lovely texture thanks to the oats.

Ingredients: (8 Pikelets)

60g (Just over a 1/2 cup) Oat Bran or Oat Flour
1/2 cup Rolled Oats
1/2 cup Almond Milk
1 Egg
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
1/2 Cup Blueberries (fresh or frozen) 

Coconut Oil for cooking 
 Maple Syrup for serving


Simply combine all of the ingredients into a medium sized bowl and whisk together until smooth. 

Heat a fry-pan over a medium-high heat and add about a tablespoon of coconut oil. 

Once the oil has melted, use a 1/4 cup scoop to spoon four serves of the mixture into the pan. 

Cook well on eat side until golden, about 3-5 minutes to ensure it's cooked all the way through. 

To serve, drizzle the pikelets in maple syrup or natural yogurt and enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this recipe! I've been obsessed with making these lately, and the best part is that they're super-healthy for you too. Such a great way to start your day.

Steph x.

Health & Fitness Update: July

Monday, 25 July 2016

I have no idea where the days in July went, but I'm back with another update for you! I feel like July was a really great month for my fitness: I've tried new things and really pushed myself through some tough workouts. I'm getting more and more confident at the gym and it's honestly like my second home now. Sadly, at the end of this month my trainer leaves for a 2-3 month holiday oversees, but the other trainers are super-lovely so I know I'll be in good hands until he gets back.

Another Month, Another Injury 

I'm not sure if it's just me, or whether this happens to a lot of people, but it seems like after one injury heals I end up with another. I think it's just life when you're active! 
I was rolling out my lower back after a workout one day, because it's always been tense. Not sure how I managed it, but I must have hit the wrong muscle and now it feels like I've got a really tight knot on my obliques. The next day I was in a lot of pain and on the point of tears, so went to one of trainers and said "Can you please help me? I've hurt my back!" She was lovely and helped me stretch it out. It's so awesome having experts I can run to whenever I hurt myself (which is a lot apparently.)

But don't worry, all that stretching worked and it's feeling a lot better. Always seek professional help if you get hurt at the gym! 

Trying New Supplements 

I recently watched a video on YouTube by Heidi Somers, where she went through all different kinds of supplements that you can take while living an active lifestyle. She was really informative and it made me finally want to try taking BCAA (branched chain amino acid.) It's designed to help you maintain and build muscle mass while you are restricting calories. It's also great for keeping your energy levels up while you workout. I've been trying a brand sold at gym and really enjoy it so far.

The other supplement recommendation that I got from Heidi was fish oil tablets, which she says is one of her favorites. It has so many benefits, like helping your insulin store sugar as energy in your muscles instead of as fat. It's supposed to help with things like anxiety and inflammation too, which are two things I always need help with! Make sure you check out Heidi's video for lots of info and recommendations. She is one smart chick!

Motivation: Holiday! 

Let me tell you, there is no better motivation than having a deadline. I leave for a family holiday in less than a month, so throughout July I have been putting a little extra pressure on myself to work harder than ever. I'm not at my goal body yet, but everyone wants to look great in their vacation pictures, right? I'm focusing on more ab work and getting more muscles toned. And that extra bit of cardio to help with some fat-loss. All my hard work will be worth it later on!

Trying Double Workouts 

This was something that I've been building to for a while and I'm really glad that I've found a way to make it work. One Friday morning I found myself in the gym at 7am for a boxing session because my trainer had no other available times. I was super nervous about it being packed with people, but it wasn't as busy as I thought. I went back later in the day to do my actual workout and found my energy levels were good, so I've been doing it ever since!

I did have to stop for a few days to heal my sore back and because I got hit with a cold, but I was back to it soon enough. I've found I have to drink a lot more water and eat a little more to fuel myself. It's really satisfying to get everything that I want to work on done in my workouts. I think the trainers might get sick of seeing me soon!

Goals for August

For the next month I really want to work harder than ever. I know I say that in every update, but with my holiday coming up, it's super-important! I'm going to make sure I leave time to do an ab workout each day and really push those extra reps on everything else. I will be working out while I'm away, so I need to come up with a couple of programs to take with me too. It's hard getting up at 6am each day, but you gotta hustle if you want results! 

So that's what I've been up to during July. This month has definitely taught me the consequences of making excuses and how it will keep you from your goals. I am not that kind of person anymore and it's a big motivator that gets me out of bed, and straight to the gym in the morning.

How was July for you?
Steph x.

Daily Blog: Pokemon Hunting & Eating All The Food!

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Happy Friday! 

After not being able to do it all week, I am finally back to doing double workouts. I'm up early this morning to be at the gym by 7am and I made myself a protein smoothie to have before I go. Last week  got a little dizzy and my trainer asked what I'd eaten (which was just a banana) so he told me to have a protein shake instead. I combine the two and make a smoothie of: 

Almond Milk
Maca Powder
Peanut butter

It gives me great energy, yet doesn't fill me up too much. My diet is pretty much bananas and peanut butter anyway!

It may be Friday, but that's no excuse to not hit the gym. Let's do it!

My morning sessions are usually just a bit of cardio and whatever equipment I feel like working with. Today I did: 

10 minute cross-trainer warmup 
Deadlifts 30kg (5 sets)
Bent Over Rows 25kg (5 sets) 
Squats x10 40kg
Leg Press 40-50kg
10 minute treadmill incline walk  

I would have taken more photos, but the gym was getting a little busy. I did have to introduce you to Milo! He belongs to the gym/cafe owners and will quite often sit in the office if it's too cold outside for him. Such a sweetie! 

Home for some much-needed food. I have a blog post coming next week that I really needed to take photos for, so I quickly did a little shoot while the light is good. 

Now I can eat! I'm really enjoying the Sacconejolys lately, now that Anna is feeling better and getting back into vlogging. I missed her so much! She's one of my favorite people ever. 

Now that my coffee has kicked in, it's time to do a little writing in my journal and get some goals for the day sorted. Exercise makes me feel so productive, just one of the many reasons why I love fitness. It's going to be another busy day. 

House chores are done, so I can head back to the gym for round two! I'm wearing all black today (as always!) 

I'm taking one of the protein balls I made last week with me, because I'm going out for a run after the gym. I always need that extra energy to get me through. 

Still loving my new Nike training bag! 

Can't forget to take my BCAA with me. Planning on lifting a lot of weights today. 

It's chest/back day, which isn't a favorite of mine but it must be done. I did a 500m sprint on the rower then go straight on to chest presses with 7kg dumbbells. 

I also worked on my pull-ups (which really need work!) and I did some ball throws as well for a bit of fun. I struggled a little bit today, because I did a new arm program with my trainer yesterday and it got my biceps burning! He said I would only have to do it once a week since that's how long it might take to recover...oh, fun! Good thing I love challenges.

After some more work with weights and some ab exercises, I'm all done and ready to get some fresh air/cardio/hunt some Pokemon.

So, I was too busy to take photos of my running route, which was beautiful with the sun out, because I was having the best time playing Pokemon Go! My phone was actually functioning properly for once and I caught four in the first five minutes. Most of them were new ones too! I still haven't caught an Eevee (my favorite) but I did catch a Vulpix which is just as amazing. My phone won't usually hold up, but somehow it did and I caught 12 Pokemon all up. My Mum probably hates running with me now. 

Home for the all-important protein smoothie and a hot shower. Felt really great running today, nice and strong. 

So excited to dig into my lunch, which is the last of my meal prep. Yes, I managed to burn my tofu a little when I cooked it, but it's nothing a little sweet chili sauce can't fix! Since it's all quite spicy, I'm also having a pear with some honey drizzled on top to help calm my taste buds down.

After editing blog posts all afternoon, I thought it was time for a snack. I've been craving salmon a lot lately (omega-3s help my brain power too!) so I slathered some cream cheese onto GF bread, along with some horseradish spread. I have to have my veges too!

Back from another crazy night at work, but I had this amazing meal to look forward to! It's marinated squid with a lentil salad, and it was delicious. My Mum soaks the squid in kiwifruit first to help it get really tender and it works every time.

Spending my Friday night doing what I always do: binge-watch Chuck and catch up on my Twitter feed. I'm still hungry, so I made a bowl of yogurt, banana, raisins, pumpkin seeds and honey. It was so good, I need to make it again. I've also been drinking orange & elder-blossom green tea, which may be my new favorite flavor.

Hurray it's the weekend! I'm excited to go see the new Star Trek movie tomorrow night, because I'm a sucker for those films. Also it's Comic Con weekend! There's gonna be so many new trailers and interviews for me to watch. I will be glued to Zachary Levi's Nerd HQ panels on YouTube.

What are you guys getting up to in the weekend?

Steph x.