Friday, May 31, 2013

Carly's Thankful For...

This week I'm thankful for...
- productive afternoons
-hints of summer
- learning and growing in my new found love: video making
- a whole month of long weekends in different Dutch cities
- Dutch lessons starting again
- and only 1.5 months until I set foot in Sweden!
Life is good.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wordless: Moeder & Oma

To find out about the start of this series, click here.
To see past wordless posts, click here.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Dutch Studies: A Public Pep Talk

So I'll be honest internet, I have been absolutely slacking on my Dutch work the past two months. April was by far the hardest month of being here so far. Being away from family and friends sort of seemed to catch up all at once. It was easy breezey all the way until the end of March, and then BAM April was a bummer, and I just had zero energy for Dutch homework. But after April, I was determined to get out of my funk, and get back to work!....... But then my Mom and Grandma came to visit (YAY!) from the 11th-23rd, and that was almost the whole month gone. (or at least it felt that way because they were the 2 weeks in the middle of the month).

HOWEVER, it is now Monday May 27th, and I have one full work week left before June shows up. I have done my (self-assigned) half an hour of Dutch today, and I WILL continute for the remainder of this week!

Image Source
 And after May you ask? Well, I am attempting to commit to a whole new idea. It's called "Don't Break The Chain". The idea is: if you do something every single day, the longer you "don't break the chain" the more encouraged you are to continue. I know this will be difficult with all my traveling, but I'm going to give it a go anyways.

I'll keep you posted! :)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Carly's Thankful For...

This week I'm thankful for...
- Summer sun!
- The fact that I am surrounded by forrest
- The fact that my Dutch lessons start up again next week
- ice cream! It's just so tasty
- This whole youtube thing turning out to be the most fun ever!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wordless: When we Were Young

To find out about the start of this series, click here.
To see past wordless posts, click here.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

How to: A Slow (but affordable!) Make-Over

About 7 months ago I realize that I hated almost everything in my closet. Every time I had anywhere impotent to go, I would basically have a melt down due to the stress of "having nothing to wear". And although it's true, I didn't have a lot of nice clothes, I also didn't know how to use the clothes that I did have. So I scrapped all the clothes possible, and I decided to start giving a shit about what I buy, and how I wear my clothes.

 If you couldn't tell already from the angsty tone of this post, I'm not a natural when in comes to fashion. I could literally pull my hair out trying to make a cute outfit, BUT that doesn't mean I don't want to look good! It just means I have to work a bit harder if I'm going to get to a place where I can actually dress myself without 2-5 roommates helping me!

So here is what I have done to try and fix the problem since that fateful day. I made a decision to donate and throw away anything I hated, or just didn't like that much. Unfortunately this would have left me with almost nothing to wear, so I had to keep a few items I disliked simply so I didn't go naked! But I tossed a LOT! The next thing I did was to start to pay more attentions in the morning when I actually put my clothes on. AND to try at it everyday, even if I knew I was literally staying in my house the whole day. I make a point almost every-single-day to try and put together an outfit that I feel good in, practice is key! Some days, when I had nothing important going on at all, I'd randomly throw together an outfit that I absolutely love, and that I feel great in! On those days, I would take a picture of myself. (Yes, can you believe it, a selfie NOT intended for instagram!)

I slowly started to accumulate pictures of outfits I genuinely liked on myself, and with clothes I own! Then if I got stuck in a situation where I had to look good, and I was stressing out, I would just go back to the pictures and see if there was any outfits that worked for the situation. (It doesn't always work, but so far it has been a huge help!)
Another HUGE thing that helped me was using pintrest. I never even really knew what style I wanted to dress in. I knew I liked to be "in style" in general, but I didn't want to be stuck buying new clothes for every new trend. So without considering clothes I could actually afford, or things I would actually wear, I just started to pin any clothes or outfits I liked. Anything I saw and I thought, "ooohhh that is so cute!" I would pin to my "style" board. Then after about a month of this I went back and looked through everything to figure out what I even wanted my style to be. It turns out I like a pretty classic look with a grudge-y vibe to it. Who knew?! (You can check out my style board here if you are curious! I also pin hair/makeup help there too!)

Of course every make-over includes the purchase of new clothing, but with very limited funds that can be difficult. I have spread my new clothing purchases out over the past 7 months, and I still don't have everything I'd like, but I've stayed within my budget, and I think that's a success! What I have been able to do though, is to buy a few nice classic items. So far, I've bought things like a simple black top that could be fancy with a blazer, or casual with jeans, a cute button up shirt in a neutral colour, and a pair of nice dark jeans. You know, staples. Things that they would tell you to buy on "What Not to Wear"! Even though my heart wants to buy that hot pink sweater that I would wear 3 times, I don't. I wait till I find something that is going to last for a few more seasons, and then spend my limited funds on that instead. (Look at me, being all mature about this!)

The last thing I've done (and a really important thing, I think) is I've started to read a few fashion blogs for advice on using the clothes I already have. Notice that I said a few, I didn't dive head first into the fashion blog world, there are WAY too many and I doubt I would make it out alive. This isn't really something that I actually enjoy, I'm making an effort because I know that I feel good when I'm in an outfit I like. So I found a few blogs I can handle, and I've been reading them for inspiration! My favourite of the bunch is Putting Me Together. She has great posts for beginners who need a lot of help! She has one especially good series called "Building a Remixable Wardrobe" and although fashiony words like "remixable wardrobe" make me want to puke, it was super helpful.

Since I started this epic process 7 months ago, I really do think I've become better at picking out outfits and especially at buying clothes. (If I don't LOVE it, it doesn't come home with me. End of story.) It's still a process, and it's still something I could use a lot of help with, but I have definitely noticed a decrease in stress when I have to get ready for an important event. And really, that was the goal of this whole project!

Let me know in the comments if you use any of these strategies or if you have any other pieces of advice for me, I'd love to hear them! 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Photo Album Update

I wrote a post (with horrendous photos) in January about my new album that I was planning to keep up with this year. I've actually managed to stay pretty up to date with it (although because I'm heading out on a 2 week vacation I will be almost 2 months behind when I get back!). I haven't updated much on it because there isn't too much besides the pictures. But since it's been about 4 months I thought I'd share a few of my favourite pages.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Carly's Thankful For...

This week I'm thankful for...
- Time with my Momma!
- Being reminded of why I love it here
-  The feeling of sand under my bare feet (is there really anything better?)
- Cold beer in the summer
- Feeling energized, and ready for the second half of this adventure!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wordless: Mirror Fun

To find out about the start of this series, click here.
To see past wordless posts, click here.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tourist vs Traveler

From the title I am sure many people imagine this will be a post about how it’s “oh so much better to be a traveler”.... And while I hate to disappoint, that isn’t really my opinion on this matter. (And as someone who has been traveling for pretty much all of my 24 years of life I feel like I can speak confidently on this topic.)

Although I have been traveling since I was born I haven’t always been running off to Europe and traveling far and wide. For the first 19 years of my life almost all of my travel was done by car with my family, and almost all of it within my own country. I even stayed in hotels (as opposed to hostels, *gasp*) for the first 20 years of my travels. Since my first trip to Europe at age 20, however, I have traveled more and more in the stereotypical style of a “traveler”. I’ve stayed in hostels, I’ve done trips alone, I’ve met new people, gone off the beaten path, been to uncomfortable and challenging new places, and skipped on the expensive tourist traps. And having done both the typical tourist and traveler styles of travelling, I’m here to tell you, stop hating on the tourists!
Many people in the “traveler” community get VERY high and mighty when discussing the dreaded tourist. There seems to be a lot of significance among travelers on trying to act local, to get off the beaten path, and to definitely, definitely, NOT act like a tourist. (God, those damn tourists ruin everything! Am I right!?!) 

But it doesn’t really make sense to me. Shouldn’t we, as avid travelers, be happy that people who might not be comfortable staying in hostel are at least getting out of their comfort zones and seeing something new? I know there are some things that the tourist stereotype does that I don’t love, but overall, I am really happy to see anyone going out to see and visit a new place, in whatever way works for them.

I fear that the chatter in the common rooms at hostels could actually be discouraging to new travelers sometimes. Could you imagine being a teenager, you’ve saved for months and months to get your 1 week vacation in Europe and now your knee deep in this pretentious world of people who claim to have been literally EVERYWHERE on only 8 cents a day. It would be overwhelming and worse it could scare them away from travel in the future. 

I wonder sometimes if travelers get nervous about tourists because they think if too many people have seen what they have seen it will somehow make it less special/amazing/moving/ or even life changing. I really don’t think they have anything to worry about; having been to many far off the beaten track places my favourite and most moving travel experience is still visiting the Coliseum in Rome. It’s probably the most touristy thing someone can do in Rome, but you know what, that doesn’t take away from my experience at all. I was moved in a way I can’t really describe, and I’ll be honest, I even teared up when I first saw it. There was something so beautiful about that building that I can’t really explain it in words. And I refuse to think that makes me a “lesser” traveler because it’s a touristy place to see! 

So here’s my idea. Let’s stop hating, and start celebrating the fact that people want to experience the world! Even if it is a pre-organize trip, or a full on red double decker bus trip (side note: I’ve been on one, and it was a blast! No shame!). They are getting out of their comfort zones to see something new, and I think that deserves credit! 

Ps: Yes I did make a t-shit that said “When in Rome” for when I visited Rome. Best life choice of all time!

You can also find this post on the Wonderly Blog!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Favourite Fabrics in my Stash

I haven't written as much about crafting as I would have liked in the past few months, but today, I fix that! I thought I'd give a round-up of my favorite fabrics from my stash. I have many fabrics that I still LOVE after having had them around for quite a while. Interestingly enough, 3 of the 6 are canvas weight fabrics. I tend to by 100% cottons most often, but I do really love working with canvas as well! Okay, so what are my favs?

1. Echino Fabric by Etsuko Furuya (For sale at this Etsy Shop)
2. Timeless Treasures, Travel The World White (Can be found here)

3. Viewfinders by Melody Miller (I think this is my favourite of the group, sooo cute!)
4. More fabric from the Echino line by Etsuko Furuya (I couldn't find it for sale, but if you search Echino on Etsy, lots of similar fabrics from the line are still avaliable!)

5. Washi Tape by Rashida Coleman-Hale (I could only find the cream version for sale here)
6. This is the only one that I can't remember the name of! If anyone can remember, please leave a comment! I'd love to be able to share. I do remember that it was organic fabric (if that helps any...)

* Non of these shops have sponsored me, and I can't guarantee the service or quality of any of them (however my opinion is that they are great!)

Friday, May 10, 2013

Carly's Thankful For...

 This Week I'm Thankful For...
- Lots of National Holidays in Summer!
- Some beautiful weather
- The fact that I get my tri-pod tomorrow (finallllyyyyy!)
- Getting to see new city this week
- Just generally feelin' good so far in may :)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Queens Day Video

This was a great day. And I really think I'm going to have to come back to Amsterdam for Kings Day next year! :)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wordless: Koningin

To find out about the start of this series, click here.
To see past wordless posts, click here.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What's Making Me Happy Online

Ah, there is just so much good stuff on the Internet! The amount of things I bookmark in a week (or pin to a pinterest board) is out of hand. Last week I found a few gems that I wanted to share as part of my What's Making Me Happy Online series! (Previous posts can be found under the WMMHO tag)

1. This amazing video of two inspiring ladies performing spoken word. They are so passionate, I just love it!


2. I don't know how many of you are still in love with Seth Cohen from the OC, but I for one, still am. So this list of 37 reasons why Seth Cohen is the perfect boyfriend made me super happy!

 3. As someone who loves to travel, but also wants to at least attempt to look nice, this list of packing tips for fashionable cloths was awesome! I love the whole website, but this list is especially good.

 4. I recently discovered a brilliant and inspiring artist named Margaret Kilgallen. This article is a great intro to her work, and there is also a beautiful video about her at the bottom.

5. Last, but not least, I thought I should share a bit of Dutch rap music with you all. I mean, come on? Rap in other languages is pretty awesome!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Biking Riding Fun!

This is just a crappy cell phone camera video, but I kind of love it! Biking the dutch way is too fun! 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Wonderly Anncement!

At the end of March I casually mentioned that I was going to be a weekly contributor to the Wonderly Blog. I didn't want to make too big a deal of it, because I wasn't exactly sure what the deal was yet. But now that I know all the details, I want to share because daaaaaang, I am EXCITED about this!

Firstly, you might be asking, Carly, what even IS Wonderly?? Well, as they say on their website “Wonderly is a place for innovative, female creators and audiences to meet, collaborate, and celebrate each other’s creations.” How cool is that? Of course I was excited to be a weekly contributor to the blog. But I was thrilled when I was recently asked to be an official "Friend of Wonderly".

The Friends of Wonderly are sort of like the juniors of the Wonderly family. There are official "Wonderlings" and there are the "Friends of Wonderly". All of which are creating amazing things online. I am so honored and excited to be part of this group and I hope that I will have lots of fun things to share with you because of it. If you want to see it live on the website (which I can only imagine you do! ;)) scroll to the bottom of the Channels page and you will find me sitting amongst the other lovely ladies!

Basically, it's awesome. And I am so SO grateful to be part of this! I can't not wait to see where this will take me creatively. I have been having so much fun making videos, and knowing that I am now being supported by this awesome community of ladies, means the world to me! :)

If you want to check out the other Friends of Wonderly, head on over to the site, or click any of the links below!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Carly's Thankful For...

This week I'm thankful for...
- Queens Day being amazing!
- And the chance to discover all these Dutch Holidays 
- A hopeful feeling for May
- Less than 11 days until I see my Mom and Grandma!!! :)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

May Goals

*notice I didn't say spend less time on the internet! I love the internet! I have this blog, my youtube channel, and I do many other fun and useful things online. But browsing pinterest for hours on end is simply a waste of time!

Previous Months:

New to my blog and/or my Monthly Goals Project read this to find out more about the plan and the inspiration.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wordless: Spinning

To find out about the start of this series, click here.
To see past wordless posts, click here.