Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wordless: Spring

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

Friday, June 21, 2013

Carly's Thankful For...

This week I'm thankful for...
- getting to visit another new city
- having more talk time with my sister
- The amazing weather!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wordless: Bloemen uit Nederland

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

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Carly Talks About: Language Learning

I’ve been attempting to learn Dutch for the past 6 months, and although I’m not nearly as far along as I would have liked, I have definitely learned a few things about learning a new language.

     1.      Do not have an opinion about how hard/not hard learning a new language is until you’ve actually tried!! This is so important! I used to say things about how easy/hard it must be, and you really have no idea until you actually try for yourself. It’s not even that it’s so much more or less hard then you think, it’s just that it is so very different then you imagine it.

    2.      Consistency is so important, but also, so very difficult. It is far better to practice 30 minutes a day then 4 hours a week. But you’re likely not going to have the motivation to practice every single day. I try to balance the time and frequency of my studying for what I know is reasonable. Some days I study for an hour, some days for 10 minutes, and sometimes I don’t study for a week straight. But I have found the frequent, short bursts of studying are the most effective way to learn.

    3.      Being brave is literally half of the battle. I know many people say this, but damn is it true!! I think language learning is more a test of the amount I can handle being embarrassed than anything else. I literally have to take time to myself after I speak a lot of Dutch because I feel so self-conscious and overwhelmed. But it’s also the only way you’re ever going to get better! So be brave and try! And just try and remember how impressed/thankful/happy you are when others make an effort to speak your native language. (And if nothing else, at least you know you provided someone with a good laugh!)

    4.      You’re not always going to know more then you knew the day before. …Actually, sometimes, you’re going to feel like you know a lot less. It’s strange how it works, but sometimes my brain just doesn’t want to speak Dutch…. But the good thing is, you’ll also have weeks where all of the sudden you feel like your skill level has improved X10! It’s definitely not a linear process, but be patient with yourself, you’ll get there.

    5.      Try as many different methods as you can. Right now I currently have lessons once a week, do audio lessons on my computer, and do Dutch “games” on Livemocha (a language website), along with practicing with my friends and co-workers. Having a variety of ways to learn makes it fun, and keeps things interesting. It can also be helpful for different learning styles to experiment to see what is best for you. What works for one person isn’t always going to work for another.

    I could really go on and on about this process, but I’ll stop there for your sake. Basically all you need to know is that yes, it’s going to be hard, but it’s also going to be a rewarding and an amazing journey… and if nothing else, you’ll have a whole new respect for bi-lingual people!!

    Ps: ya, I made that word cloud. Feel free to be impressed with my epic graphic design skillz.. also, google translate is responsible for all errors in said word cloud.
    You can also find this post on the Wonderly Blog!

    Monday, June 17, 2013

    Whats Making Me Happy Online....

    It's time again for a round up of things that are making me happy online! There is always so much! (*Click on any of the images for their sources!*)

    ~ This useful tip from WindowsITPro:
    To type the euro symbol (€) in U.S. (or Canadian) versions of Windows:
    1. Turn on the NUM LOCK key
    2. Hold down the ALT key and type 0128 on the numeric keypad. This key combination is normally referred to as ALT+0128.
    ~ This sweet little list of things to do when your feelin' down

    ~ This amazing list of signs agains DOMA and Prop 8!

    ~ This freaking animal!! So damn cute! (It's called a Quokka)

    ~ This lovely DIY from the always awesome A Beautiful Mess

    ~ And finally this sweet and simple tattoo! Love it.

    Sunday, June 16, 2013

    Do you Sew?

    Ah, the question. All sewers know it. Word gets around pretty quick when you know how to re-attach a button, or mend a ripped sweater. I never mind if people ask, but I much, much prefer if whoever is asking for said repairs, is also willing to let me teach them (that way, they can't ask me again!)

    My roommate here had a friend staying recently, and it came up, again... do you sew? He needed a hole in his jeans fixed. I said no-prob, but let me teach you. Thankfully, he was up for it! (yay!!) So together, we fixed his jeans, and by the end of his visit he had fixed a second paid all on his own... I'd say that's a sucess! :)

    PS: this is not a proper mending job at all, but by the time I realized what I had done, he said he didn't mind how it looked, so we just left it..... ok, so maybe I'm not the best teacher, but it was fun!

    Friday, June 14, 2013

    Carly's Thankful For...

    This week I'm thankful for...
    - Feeling better and eating better
    - My bike (always my bike!)
    - My volunteer placement (legit nothing else here has made me so happy!!)
    - The cute little animals all around me here
    -Sunny weather & sandals/no shoes weather
    - This country being so freaking lovely!

    Wednesday, June 12, 2013

    Wordless: Around Here

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

    Sunday, June 9, 2013

    Something Sunday: Mothers Day Embroidery

    This year for Mothers Day, I knew exactly what I wanted to make my Mom. I had had this idea since last year, but I knew I wanted it to be for Mothers Day, and not Christmas or anything else. I got the idea (and basically the pattern as well) from CraftyDame over at Crafster. I fell in love with her piece, and new my Mom would too!

    I stenciled out the pattern, on a nice sunny day, and it worked out easier then I had anticipated. (although, one day, I do dream of having a light box for tracing!)

    And after all the prep work, and actual embroidery, I got it done! And I am so pleased with it! And I don't think I've ever seen my mom so thankful for a gift I've made or bought her. It was actually a really special moment, and I was thrilled that she loved it too.

    Sadly, I gave it to my Mom before getting good pictures. BUT She loved it so much she is planning on getting it framed properly, by an actual framer! So once that is done, I'll get some more pictures to share with you!
    As always, thanks for reading :)

    Friday, June 7, 2013

    Carly's Thankful For...

     This week I am thankful for...
    - The above picture existing. haha 
    - being able to take some time this week to rest and get better (I was a bit of a sicky early in the week)
    - enjoying the country more and more with each passing month
    - The supportive and lovely team that is Wonderly

    Thursday, June 6, 2013

    My Top 4 Things To Do and See in Amsterdam

    I've been taking day trips, and long weekends to Amsterdam since I moved here, and I have actually seen quite a lot so far! And because I always find recommendations helpful I thought I would share with you my Top 4 things to do in Amsterdam!(Why top 4? Well when it came down to it, these were the things I felt comfortable and excited to share, so here are my fav 4!)

    1. Walking Tour
    This free(ish - you are expected to tip) walking tour is a great idea for your first day in the city. It will give you a good overview of the city layout, along with some really interesting history. It does go through the Red Light District, but the tour guide I had was tasteful, and for me it was a lot easier to go through with a group then just on my own. Plus then you get it out of the way (because you're obviously going to go at least once).

    2. Van Gogh Museum & Museumplein (Museum Square)
    Of all the art galleries I've been to in Amsterdam, this is by far my favourite. I loooved it. It had loads of information along with all the art, and they have amazing tours as well. It's also a really good size, not too small that you feel like it was pointless, but not so big that you feel overwhelmed. It is a bit pricy at €15, but I really did love it! And conveniently it is located right in Museum Square (or "Museumplein" in Dutch).  This is the square where you can find the now famous IAmsterdam Sign, along with a few other museums and art galleries and tourist attractions. Plus if the weather is nice, there are a few cafe's where you can sit and enjoy a nice cup of tea or a cold beer.

    Side note: I'm going to go out on a controversial limb and say, don't bother with the Rijksmuseum. Unless of course you're really into art, and will actually appreciate the classics. I found it to be far too traditional for my taste and WAY to crowded to be fun, also, it's soooo massive that it kind of just became over whelming for me.

    3. Anne Frank Museum*
    *From talking with others who haven't read her book and went to the museum, it seems it is slightly more meaningful if you have previously read her book (which I also highly recommend!)
    I have already been here twice, and I think The Anne Frank Museum is the most beautiful and special museum I've ever been too. Having read the book only a month before I visited the first time, it really made the book come alive. It felt like I was getting to know her, Anne, as a real person. It has a special feeling to it that I can't really describe, and I just think it's beautiful that this museum exists.

    4. Wander along the Prinsengracht canal (or any canal really) and into the Jordaan area
    You'll be surrounded by canals even if you don't try, but I found it nice to take some time to really enjoy the view. Take some time to walk around the outermost of the main canals (The Prinsengracht) and take a stop off in the cute and hip area around the Jordaan (lots of shops and places to stop for a beer or coffee).

    I definitely plan to add to this, or make a part 2 after I've seen even more things in the wild city, but for now, I hope this gives you some ideas, and keeps you busy! :) Have fun!

    Wednesday, June 5, 2013

    Wordless: Off to the Forests Again..

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

    The past few weeks…

    I feel like I have been really MIA here over the past two weeks. I had tons of posts pre-written and set up to share with you in mid-May when I was away on vacation. But then once I got back, I just kind of forgot to get back into the swing of things! Oops.

    I just thought I let you know, I noticed too!

    But I do hope to get things back to normal by this Sunday!  Thanks for bearing with me, and for continuing to read. I love that you do!!

    Saturday, June 1, 2013

    June Goals

    Previous Months:

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