Easing My Way Back Into Blogging

Monday, 27 February 2017

A few weeks ago, I posted my Three Days Of Blogger Burnout post after experiencing a little rough patch. I've seen a few other bloggers express their thoughts and feelings on being distant from our community and their struggle to connect again. I hear you girls, you are not alone. 

We all go through times where we have to assess how we are going to move forward with our blogs. This is even harder to do when you're feeling a little lost and overwhelmed by it all. One thing I have learned is that it's completely okay to feel this way. Nothing stays the same forever and if you need a break, take as much time as you need. 

Am I giving up Hello, Steph? Hells no! I don't think there will ever be a time when I don't have the itch to write, or express how excited I am about something with pictures and witty captions (well, I try.) Plus, I'd still love to make this a full-time thing one day. Time to get back to making the dream a reality!

Step one: Take the pressure off

This has been really important to me lately, especially for my own mental health. Yes, I want to work my ass off and make this blog into something bigger and brighter, but I can't expect to run that on an empty tank. Sometimes I just struggle with inspiration, or get writers block. By easing my way back slowly and not worrying about set days/times, I'm just dipping my toe back in to waters of the blogging community.

Step two: Just write

Something I always found with planning too many posts ahead was that I felt like I had to write, instead of wanting to. I have to confess that I haven't written down a weekly blog plan in almost a month. I think I've just needed time to try a new way of approaching blogging, although soon I will need to get back to planning again since I really do miss the structure. Lately I've just let myself type away when I feel inspired and need to get my thoughts onto the page. It can actually be quite therapeutic and you end up writing out of passion, rather than discipline.

Step three: Find new inspiration

It's always been important to take a step back, take a good look at your blog and decide where you want it to go. That's definitely easier said than done, but one thing I've found helps is just looking at the blogs you enjoy, especially in the recent past. To make things simple, lately I've been falling back in love with Carly Rowena's blog and the topics she writes about. She has such a great balance of fitness, health, recipes, positive lifestyle changes and so on. Moving ahead, I want to take inspiration from her and focus on creating a space where my readers can be inspired and help make healthier choices. All by documenting my own journey and findings along the way.

I hope this is helpful to anyone else who has been feeling a little burnt out or lost with blogging. We all feel this way at some point, but there's always something you can do to keep moving forward.

Do you have any advice for getting back into the world of blogging?
Steph x.

Dealing With A Fitness Injury

Thursday, 23 February 2017

When you're focused on getting fitter, stronger, faster, or just leaner, injuries do happen. Chances are that you'll experience one at some point on your fitness journey. There's always the pulled muscle, or maybe a nice sprain that will put you out of action for a little bit. Being a runner, I'm used to simply jogging through the pain and it all goes away before you know it. But recently I've been dealing with a more serious injury and it's been one of the toughest lessons I have learned so far. It's been a learning curb, but one I think I've had to go through. 

Don't get me wrong, I fricking love the way I train. CrossFit has changed how I look and feel about fitness and I wouldn't give it up for the best gym in the world. But I took the wrong form one day and with the combination of an explosive movement (damn you wall balls!) I tore some cartilage in my right knee. Let me tell you, it's not a fun or easy injury to have. Being someone who considers fitness to be a key part of who they are, I was heartbroken to have taken such a step back. It's not all bad though and the whole point of this post is to share how I'm trying to get through it without losing that part of who I am. 

Obviously I'm no doctor and this post won't have anything to do with medical advice. This is just me sharing my experience of an injury and how I'm learning to deal with it. If you ever do feel that something is wrong, don't hesitate to go see a proffessional about it. 

Don't give up
The thing about fitness injuries is that they can be incredibly frustrating. You want to train hard and run for miles, but you physically can't anymore. At least not without further damage occurring. Everyone around me can see that I'm not happy about being so restricted. It's not about the pain, although getting my leg caught on something can be a nice little wake-up call. It's about being stuck on bench press while everyone else squats, or rowing another 2km for the third time in a week. 

But you know what?

I didn't give up. 

I could have easily told my coach I was going to take it easy and rest. But that's not me at all. I just strapped my knee up and came into class at the same time I do each morning. Luckily I have a brilliant coach who simply modifies the workouts to take the ease off of my knees. And hey, it means my upper body can finally get some focus too! I'm still not able to get back into running (which kills me inside) but I know that if I keep strengthening me knee on the with different exercises, I'll get back to it soon. 

Talk to your coach/trainer
Who better to talk to than someone who lives and breathes fitness? They've probably come across a number of injuries, or even experienced some themselves. My coach has been a great help in keeping the intensity of my workouts. He even helped me identify a few problems (quads too tight, which is pulling my knee the wrong way) and solutions to help me heal better (foam roll them to shreds and invest in a compression band.)
If you're not sure about what a physio or doctor has said to you, this can be a helpful way to get a second opinion. They want what's best for you and to get the most out of your workouts, so they will always be happy to help. They can even point you in the right direction for recommendations specifically for your sport or injury.

Treat your body right
You'd be surprised by how much nutrition can speed up the healing process, especially to help fight inflammation. It's like when you come down with a cold and having orange juice (or anything high in vitamin C) makes you feel better. Now, I'm no expert about this stuff, but I know if I'm eating plenty of fruit and veg, avoiding anything processed, and taking turmeric tablets for inflammation I'm helping my body do it' thing. It's something to look into, even when you just have sore muscles from recent workouts. Your body is in pain, you gotta take care of it.

Have you had a sports injury experience? Let me know how you got through it.
Steph x.

Eight Things From Disney I Wish Were Real!

Monday, 20 February 2017

After watching vlogs from Carrie Fletcher and her time at Disneyworld, plus Louise Pentland sharing the most gorgeous snaps from her park holiday, I seem to have Disney on my mind a lot lately. I caught the magic bug after my trip to LA last year, and I am already planning on dragging my boyfriend back there in 2018 (sorry Steve, it has to happen.) 

I've been wanting to write a Disney post for a while and the other day I got thinking about my favorite things about this genre. And also about what parts of the universe that I would love to be real for us. Just for a bit of fun, let's work our way through some of my favorite Disney movies and imagine what it would be like if we had a little more magic in the world. 

Animal Side-Kicks

I'm starting with the best one here. It's always been my favorite part of the movies: Pascal, Pluto, Sven, Maximus, Sebastian, and my personal favorite, Meeko (the adorable and ever-hungry raccoon from Pocahontus.) How cool would it be to have a cute companion to cheer you up and be your partner in crime? 


People really don't build enough castles these days. In the world of Disney there seems to be a castle in every region, and I feel like it needs to be a thing. If they all come with a firework display as well, life would be so much more magical!

Fairy God-Mothers 

I don't have any god-parents, or much by way of grand parents either, so to have a lovely lady with a magic wand be there when I need her sounds lovely! And not just for me, because I know out there are plenty of children who desperately need a fairy god-mother with them. It might made the world a happier place.


I'm talking grand castles, guys in tuxedos, girls twirling in dresses fit for a princess, and (hopefully) and incredible feast table. I don't know about you guys but I have always had a secret wish to go to one of the balls like you see in Cinderella. I've never been overly-girly, but I think these dances need to make a comeback. 


Okay but imagine Peter Pan whisking you away when you were a kid to fly among stars, bounce on clouds, and fight a band of pirates. Every kid should experience that! And even though I wouldn't want to be a kid forever (and because Neverland doesn't have a good supply of chocolate) I still think this type of adventure would keep your belief in magic for a lifetime.


Oh, yes please! I've always had a fascination with mermaids and I'm not entirely convinced they aren't still lurking where humans haven't searched yet. If they're as lovely as Ariel, then I wish for them to be real!

The Avengers

I know it would also mean aliens would come to earth, but how cool would it be to take a trip to New York and see Spiderman flying from building to building? You might even get caught in some cross-fire and Captain America will come running in and save you. We could use some Iron Man technology to be honest. I'm so in!


I would never need anything else in life if I had a cuddly and caring friend like this big inflatable puff. He made us feel all the feels in Big Hero 6 and I would happily have him as my companion. Not that he would fit in my car, but he would be useful when I hurt myself while running (it happens way more than it should.)

What would you love to see brought to life from the world of Disney?
Steph x.

Learning To Live In The Present

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

I've seen quite a few people on social media (and inspirational posts on Pinterest) practicing being more mindful and living in the moment. I know it's something that we usually tell ourselves that we will be doing more of in the New Year. But it's the kind of mind-set that if practiced enough, can change the way you think and react to different situations. Essentially living each day to your best.

I can be a bit of a Nervous-Nelly. I think a lot about future events I want to happen, but then I realize the time between now and then, which makes me panic. It's like looking up at a tall mountain you're about to climb and being scared if you'll ever make it to the top. All of this is silly, of course. We all know worrying about the past or future just takes away from the happiness we could be having right now. Make plans and goals, but don't get so focused on them that you lose your way before you have even started. 

One day when I was aimlessly scrolling through Instagram (one of my favorite hobbies) I came upon a post of this book: The Mindfulness Journal. The girl raved about how wonderful it was and I became intrigued. I saved it to my Book Depository wish-list and once pay-day rolled around I put it straight into my basket. 
Once it had arrived, gorgeous cover and all, I took it on a road trip I was taking with the boyfriend. I don't know about you, but I can never be without a book when I travel! Once I pulled it out of my bag and got reading I began to understand what the concept was all about. 
This Mindfulness Journal is basically your guide to finding peace in a great number of situations (snacking, tiredness, relationships etc.) It explains breathing exercises on each page, as well as little things you can focus on around you to become more mindful, as well as feeling calmer. If you tend to feel anxious, this little book would be a great companion to take with you anywhere. You could simply read some of the inspirational quotes, or take the advice the author gives you while you take a moment for yourself. 

I can't tell you how many stressful situations I have been in that would have been made simpler with this journal. It works to get you into a healthy and calm mind space by being present. You could practice it right now. Look at the scene around you and find three things that make you happy. Notice colors, the way textures feel on your skin, and take time to stretch your body while taking nice deep breaths. Feels pretty good, huh?

This is a technique that I practiced in the car on the way to our destination, and it's something I've been trying to continue every day. I'm not at meditation yet, but being more mindful of staying present can stop those future worries and can help you enjoy those amazing little moments. The other day I was anxious about a shift at work, but I pushed those thoughts out of my mind and just focused on enjoying my day off. It would have been silly to ruin my weekend by worrying about something that hasn't even happened yet, right? 

With the help from this beautiful journal, I am going to continue making mindfulness a habit and train my brain into being a calmer space. I know it sounds slightly cheesy, but focusing on the one day that's ahead of you and living in the moment, can make such a difference to you life. 
Give it a try!

What do you do to be more mindful? 
Steph x.

Getting Fit & Happy With The Lean Machines!

Monday, 13 February 2017

John and Leon are two Personal Trainers/YouTubers/Life Coaches/Nutritionists that are here to inspire you on your journey. It's safe to say they know their stuff and I've learned quite a bit already just from watching their weekly vlogs. 

I've been subscribed to their YT channel for a while now, but always told myself I would watch their videos another time. While looking for health and fitness related books, I can across theirs on Book Depository and knew I had to give it a read. Once it had finally arrived, I was immediately impressed by how extensive it is. They talk about everything from mental health, nutrition, delicious-looking recipes, how to make a meal plan, workouts, and movements to try. Upon reading the first few chapters I thought to myself: "These guys could change someone's life." And I bet they already have.

(If you're a fan of the fitness super-star Carly Rowena, you'll love these two. Especially since she's engaged to Leon!)

Their top priority: Happiness

I have seen John and Leon come back to this multiple times and it's helped me make it a priority as my own long-term goal. Positive thinking can make all the difference when embarking on a journey to being a better version of yourself, and it's awesome that these guys encourage it so much. You can tell by watching their videos that they practice what they preach, seeing as they are always positive and try to make the most of each day. Being healthy starts with a happy mindset, and I think it's something a lot of us forget to prioritize.

They set long-term goals 

These boys don't believe in quick fixes like those "Lose Ten Pounds In A Week!" type of programs. They do understand how impatient we are for our bodies to transform, but if you're looking to become happy and healthy for the rest of your life then they will convince you it's worth waiting for. I think it's awesome that John and Leon include life coaching into their book/channel. Their focus on goals (both near and far) are what will help you achieve success for years to come.

They're CrossFit fanatics like me! 

 This was definitely a factor that drew me to their YT channel. I remember seeing a image of Leon performing a snatch lift and I immediately had to see what they were up to. CrossFit isn't talked about a lot in the fitness community, especially on YouTube, so to be able to watch these guys doing the workouts and movements that I'm used to is so cool! I went back to their blog and found a post called Why We Started CrossFit and it was really interesting to read. It turns out they switched from a gym to a box for the same reasons I did: thirst for challenge and improving all parts of their fitness. They even get those nervous butterflies in the car before going in to workout! If you want to know more about CrossFit, or you would like to just switch up your gym routine, then I highly recommend their vlogs. 

 It's like having a personal trainer in book form! They ask you important questions you've probably avoided asking yourself (like do you feel under pressure or are you living life to your full potential?) They help you set realistic goals and even share personal stories that help you understand where they're coming from, as well as making them feel approachable to you. 

They will help you look at every aspect of your life so that you can assess what works and what you can change to feel more awesome. The Lean Machines are here to help with whatever part of fitness/health that you might struggle with, or to simply inspire you to work harder and live happy.

I can't recommended these guys enough, both their book and YouTube channel. And if you're concerned that they're only for gym junkies, don't worry! They talk about a whole range of topics for no matter what stage you are at in fitness.

Who has been a fitness inspiration to you lately?
Steph x.

Cute Date Ideas You'll Both Enjoy!

Thursday, 9 February 2017

It's that time of year again! Whether you love it or hate it, Valentines Day is in the air. In previous years I have either used it as an excuse to by myself something or gone "ugh" at the mention of it. But it's funny how things change when you find the right person to spend time with. 
I'm always on the lookout for fun things to do and memories to make. The great thing about living in the Southern Hemisphere at the moment is that we are still in summer, which is the perfect season for getting out and about. I've also included lots of ideas on this list for colder nights as well (which are always nice and cozy anyway.) Whether you use them for Valentines Day or just any date night with your significant other, these are some of my favorite things I wanna try.

Pick a movie series each and have a marathon with lots of treats 

Got to a farmers market and pick out some food for a picnic

Try different breakfast spots in your town/city

Go indoor rock-climbing 

Grab some takeaway food and find a good spot to watch the sunset

Find pop-up movie venues and cuddle under a blanket

Go out for a late-night hot chocolate 

Race each other at go-carting

Have a beach day! Go all out with food and games

A make-your-own pizza night

Find a haunted-house tour

Check out local festivals (especially the food and comedy ones!)

Go for a spontaneous drive and see where you end up

Make a blanket fort, order pizza, and watch Netflix

Go out for milkshakes (or create your own)

Have a couples bowling night

Write a list of food places you want to try and tick one off every month

Go for an icy gelato on a hot day 

Try a fitness class together or find a hiking trail

Watch each others favorite movie

Make food together then go out for a picnic

Be tourists for a day in your own city

Put up a tent and camp in your backyard together. Watch the stars and set up a camp fire

Netflix movie night with chocolate fondue (or make smores)

Check out a comedy show

 Create a scavenger hunt for each other

Have a water gun fight on a hot day

What's your idea of the perfect date? I think a day at Disneyland would be mine. Rides, churros, and the firework show...perfection!
Steph x. 

Recipe: Fluffy Protein Pancakes!

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Pancakes that are good for you? Oh, yes!
I'm definitely one of those fit-girls that tries to fit delicious treats into my everyday routine. If I can find a way to make it healthy, it's guaranteed to become a regular part of my diet. I've seen some impressive protein pancake stacks on Instagram and a few companies that make their own mixes. Since New Zealand is always a step behind, we don't have any of these mixtures available yet. So, to avoid expensive shipping and any nasty preservatives found in ready-made products, I set out to make my own!

I made up this recipe myself and have been making it again and again for months. It's amazing no matter what flavor protein you put with it, so feel free to use whichever one is your favorite (just imagine the possibilities!) Personally I like to stick to vanilla. That way I can add tonnes of fruit and even some yogurt on top. 

It's also another one of my easy blender recipes, where you just have to chuck all of the ingredients together and blitz them while your pan is heating. Super-quick to make, but you don't lose out on any nutrition.

Serves 2


1 banana
2 eggs
2 scoops protein powder
2 tbsp gluten-free flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup oats
 1/3 cup almond milk

Get a large pan heating on medium-high with a tsp of coconut or canola oil. 
Place everything into a blender, starting with the banana to stop the flour from sticking to the bottom. 
Blend until you have nice consistency, usually one that resembles custard. You don't want it to be thin. Pour medium sized servings into the pan and flip when the bottom is brown and you begin to see bubbles on top. 

To serve, add your fruit of choice and maple syrup drizzled on top (make sure it's the pure kind, not maple-flavored!) 

And enjoy!
These are perfect after a workout, on a Sunday morning, or even as an afternoon protein fix!

What would be your ultimate pancake flavor? I'm toying around with the idea of an Oreo one!
Steph x.

20 Things I Didn't Expect To Learn In My Twenties

Saturday, 4 February 2017

I know I've always looked forward to these years and even though they haven't turned out how I thought they would, it's been pretty great. I was not sad in the slightest to leave my teen years behind me and my twenties have shaped up to be the best years of my life. I've spent three of them surrounded by books at university doing my honors degree, traveled to seven cities across the US, and transitioned into a fitness-nut. I'm only half-way done with the decade, so I'm pretty excited to see what the next five years will bring.

While having these kinds of experiences, you can't help but learn a few life lessons along the way. Not bad ones, just things that help you grow into a better person who can take on whatever life throws at you. I've been thinking a lot about how I can share some of these lessons with you, and what better way to do it than in a little list! We all love those.

Travel as early and as often as you can 

These aren't the years you become a proper adult, so just fake it like the rest of us 

Understanding your mental health is very important. Take the time to do so and make it a healthy priority

You'll always have one friend who is obsessed with cats. If not, it's probably you

Never compare your journey to other people. They all move at different paces for a reason

Your five-year plan will change and grow as you do

Be kind no matter what. Even if someone is being rude, be the better person

Your opinion of love will change depending on your status

Spend more time at the beach. It will calm you and it's great for a digital-free day

Luck is rare, you have to work hard for any kind of success 

University isn't everything. Life experience can be just as valuable

We all binge on Netflix. Don't feel bad, just embrace it

Always keep peanut butter in the house

You'll have a different kind of relationship with your parents (and it's great!)

Crappy jobs will teach you important life lessons that you can take with you to a better position

Try more things, especially the ones that excite yet scare you at the same time. You never know what you'll find a passion for

Don't rush anything in life. Take your time and enjoy every little thing

Food shopping is one of the most enjoyable things about being an adult

Be aware of negative talkers, they can be toxic. Try turning it round with some positivity

Fitness is actually awesome, you just have to find something enjoyable and a great community to go with it. 

What have recent years taught you?
Steph x.

365 Days Of Happiness Project: January

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

One month into 2017 already, how crazy time flies when you're having fun! January has been a great month for me and I feel like I've made some lovely memories. I love writing down my days and looking back on what I did. I thought this would be a fun blog project to run all through the year. It's a pretty simple idea really: I just record one happy thing from every day and do a summary each month. The aim is for you to train yourself to see the goodness in every day and focus on the positives. And even when you think the weeks haven't been very exciting, you can take a look back and remember the fun things you got up to.
Here's the first month in my Happiness Project:

1. Saw the new Passengers with the family and Steve

2. Made waffles for Steve and his flatmates 

3. Improved my Power Cleans (weight-lifting move) at CrossFit

4. Had lunch with Steve at his work just because

5. Cheeky McDonald's run for dessert!

6. Watch 50 First Dates on Netflix and ate ice cream

7. Had a great night at work after a bad run

8. Breakfast date at a swanky buffet 

9. Made cauliflower pizza for everyone

10. Got surprised with my first pair of lifting shoes!

11. Coffee catch up with one of my good friends

12. Bought some new books to write about on my blog

13. French Toast Friday!

14. Steven brought me mint choc ice cream to cheer me up

15. Visited a BMX track. Oh, the memories!

16. Dinner date at my favorite restaurant

17. Feeling motivated after watching the 2016 Spartan Race Championship

18. The dress for an upcoming wedding arrived!

19. My coach was happy with my squat form today

20. Breakfast with the CrossFit family. Best people ever!

21. Picking up pizza, fries, and taking it to the pier to eat

22. Cheeky Burger Fuel dinner and watching The Force Awakens

23. Beach mission with Steve

24. Healthy eating all day

25. My sprints got faster in CrossFit today

26. Started at new job location & bought a Nerf Gun!

27. Made chocolate dipped pretzels & bought food for our road trip

28. Biked with Mum & made banana muffins

29. Fun drive to Dunedin & meeting new family

30. Lovely day scouting photos and traveling home

31.Watching Sherlock (season 3) with Steve

What do you think of this idea? I'm loving it so far, it lets me share the things that make me happy. And I get to see just how much I can get up to in a month. Little moments or big ones, it's important to focus on the good times.

Tell me something happy that happend today, or if you have any projects like this.
Steph x.