Friday, November 29, 2013

Carly's Thankful For...

This week I'm thankful for...
- getting back to Canada safely (I know I've been here 2 weeks, but I've barely been able to process that fact until now)
- finding out I'm going to have a Dutch visitor in February!!! :) :)
- my fun new photo editing app (A Beautiful Mess)
- getting to see one of my bestest girl firends this weekend for the first time since I've been back!
- and getting to see lots of my other bestest girl friends! (even though I have already seen them since returning)
 - my babble Dutch lesson app. So soo good.
- feeling calm, and better after a rocky first 2 weeks in Canada

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wordless: Easy Mornings

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

Sunday, November 24, 2013

DIY Ripped Jeans

So you have a pair of old jeans that you never wear any more.... why not turn them into ripped jeans! You may be thinking that it is starting to get a bit cold for ripped jeans, but I love wearing mine with bold tights underneath during the winter... keeps me warm and looks fun! Here's how you do it:
1. Find some jeans you want to change up!
2. While wearing the jeans, mark where you want the holes to be with a pen or sharpie.
 3. get a knife, a pair of scissors, and a cutting board together.  Put the cutting board inside the leg you are cutting before you begin.
4. Using your knife or scissors (I found scissors easiest) cut a small hole where you have marked. Remember it is a lot safer to start small and make it bigger after!
5. Put your jeans back on.
6. Using your knife or scissors slowly (and carefully!!) work away at the holes to give them a more tattered look. After you are happy with them, put them threw the washer and dryer to bring out even more frayed edges.

And your done! Enjoy your fun new ripped jeans.

Please leave me a comment below if you used this tutorial, and tell me how your jeans turned out! :)

Friday, November 22, 2013

I'm Thankful For...

This week I'm thankful for...
- keeping busy
- paper crafts
- my love of making things, and the ability to do so
- skype and the internet
- a stunning bridesmaids dress to wear!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wordless: Willow is my Homegirl (aka phone pictures from this weekend)

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

Friday, November 15, 2013

Carly's Thankful For...

This week I am thankful for...
- Suprise early Sinterklaas
- Safe flights
- Sleepovers
- The internet & Skype
- Haveing a roof over my head

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Wordless: Light

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

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Carly's Thankful For...

This week I'm thankful for...
- All the birds
- breakfast foods
- fun weekends and a great vacation
- warm hats/scarfs/mittens
- hot chocolate
- ice hockey!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pretty Pillow Case

There is a tradition here in The Netherlands called Sinterklaas. It mostly involves gifts for kids, but seeing as I never lived here when I was a kid, I decided I would give some gifts anyways! It is celebrated between November 16th to December 5th... and you receive your gifts on Dec 5th. Sadly for me, I will be leaving on November 13th, before the celebration begins. BUT luckily like Christmas in Canada, the decorating and getting excited seem to start at least a month before the actual event. Perfect.

So with all the Sinterklaas fun in mind, I decided to make a travel themed pillow case as a gift. And then to make it more relevant to the holiday, I threw in some Sinterklaas candy!

It was fun to finally do some piecing again. I haven't made a quilt this year, so most of my sewing projects have been a lot more straight forward. I was thinking of doing a log-cabin style quilt block for the front, but as I was sewing, I really enjoyed how the "Travel the World" fabric looked with solid blocks around it. Plus isn't all this travel fabric amazing!

Fabric Details:
the inner fabric is "Travel The World in White" by Timeless Treasures, the next ring out is "British Tube Map in White" by Timeless Treasures, the next ring out is a simple airplane print that sadly I can't remember the name of, and the last ring out is a simple grey and white stripped fabric I found at a local market.
On the back I used the same grey and white stripped fabric along with "Fabric Colourful Washi Tape in Grey" also by Timeless Treasures.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wordless: Forest

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

Monday, November 4, 2013

5 Tips to Make Travel More Affordable

I've traveled a fair amount over the past 5 years, but only in the past year do I really feel like I've learned to do budget (i'm talking BUDGET) trips. It can definitely still be a great experience, but you have to figure out where you are willing to cut corners and what is a must have for each trip. I thought I'd share a few of the things that I have found helpful over the last year.

This is one of the best tips I can give you. I had seen this tip floating around many times before I actually started to use it, because I always though it would ruin the social side of travelling. But this is the part I didn't think about: you only have to buy groceries for *some* of your meals. Especially if I am travelling alone, I want to be able to go out to the restaurant with whoever is nice enough to let me tag along, it's fun! But at a minimum, I will buy groceries for breakfast. This can be a huge saver; generally getting you 4 breakfasts for the price of 1 in a restaurant.

This one came as a surprise to me, as I had always just assumed that a hostel was the cheapest deal out there. But if you are in a group and the cheapest hostel is €25 that's already €100 for 4 people. Depending on the city you are in, you can likely grab a hotel for less.

Okay, so I know I look painfully cold in this picture, but I promise it's just an awkward smile! Traveling off season is one of my favorite ways to do travel on the cheap. Hostels can cost as little as half their high-season rates, and often times attraction tickets will also be less in the winter months! You do have to keep in mind that some things may be closed, but if you are going to popular tourist cities (Rome, London, Paris etc) you shouldn't run into too much trouble. Depending on the weather, you will likely have to plan a few more indoor breaks into your day. But if you plan smart and bring appropriate clothes, it really is doable, and fun!

I would argue this is just a good travel philosophy... but it also happens to save you money. You get to see a place more thoroughly, you don't spend all that time stressing about getting everything done in two days, and you save huge on in-between travel costs. Even if you just switch your trip from 5 cities to 4, you will save at least one train/plain/boat ride which is likely at least €100. Plus I truly do believe that more time in less cities is a way better way to travel. Don't get caught up in this "can you believe I saw 15 cities in 1 month?! I am the God of travelling!!!" game, just see what you are truly interested in seeing, and really dive in to it when you are there.

Okay, so admittedly I do not always follow this one! With winter travel and multi-season travel, it is difficult to everything in a check-in backpack let alone one that is small enough for carry-on restrictions. But if you are doing a trip that is less than a month and not too diverse regionally (meaning you will only be in one climate), then I argue that you go for ultra lite packing. I have an amazing 38L back pack that is approved for Ryan Air and Easy Jet carry on standards and I just kind of make it work. It can save over €40 per flight, so even if you are only going there and back via plane, that is already €80! (Note: you can only bring 1 piece of luggage as a carry on for most discount airlines, so you really have to get everything to fit into the one bag!) (*I understand that this is definitely not always possible). 

Bonus tip! 
I added this as a bonus and not as a real one because there are a lot of maybes with this one. There are a lot of off the beaten path places that you can travel to for almost nothing, but if you've dreamed your whole life of going to Paris... then get your ass to Paris! I think this is a great tip for anyone just looking to try something new and get out of their comfort zone. If that's the aim, then skip Western Europe, and head to Eastern Europe, there are SO many amazing cities and countries to see, and many at half the cost of a Western European city. If you are looking for even more adventure, skip Europe altogether, and head over to India, Nepal, or SE Asia. You will see something totally different, and likely be able to travel on $20/day or less (of course, depending on how basic/luxury you want to travel).

I hope this encourages you to get out there and see something new... if there is one thing in life that I have never regretted spending money on, it is hands down travel! (And that includes when I was puking all over India, so that is saying something!)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

November Goals

I know that November is going to be quite a busy/stressful month, so I tried to keep my goals fun and exciting! Number 2 is of particular importance because I just realized I am 5 books away from my New Years Resolution of reading 15 books this year... oops! Better get on that!

Previous Months:
September* see note at the bottom

Friday, November 1, 2013

Carly's Thankful For...

This week, I am thankful for...
- An amazingly beautiful Autumn
- A relaxing week
- Lots of time with Rutger in the next 2 weeks
- A cute winter dress
- Getting the inspiration/desire back to make more videos
- a bit of fun sewing (to be shared here later)