Two days without Instagram

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Okay now I know some of you read the title and thought to yourself, “how hard can that be?” Well for some of you I bet it would be a walk in the park but for someone like me it is going to be damn hard. I have been challenged to go two days without Instagram and I have had to delete it off my phone.

This whole challenge came about because I am constantly on Instagram going through the feed acting like its the end of the world if I miss a photo. I guess you could say that I’m highly addicted. In my head though I feel like I enjoy staying connected for many different reasons. I like to keep on top of trends and see what people are into. I need to know what’s going on in the food industry, what restaurants are people going to and what is the talk of the town. I studied Public Relations for god sakes, of course I need social media in my life. It has come to a point though where I need to try this two day stint and see how I feel after.

Is the world going to end if I miss a photo? Will I still be the same person without Instagram for two days? I think I already know the answers to these questions but I will report back once I know more. For now, I can let go of that stressful feeling of needing to see all the photos, and maybe just maybe look up more and enjoy the beauty around me.

 

Carly Jensen xo

Dinner Parties are in style for 2015

IMG_4780 Looking for something new to do with your friends on the weekend? I got just the thing for you whether it is a special event or even just a Friday night catch up, dinner parties are your new go to. After the numerous bar nights one can tend to get a bit bored of their usual weekend routine with friends. This past New Year’s we tried something different and had a fabulous time. By having a fun dinner party at your house you get to enjoy everything from the food, company, decor and on top of that spend a lot less money then heading out to the club.

What we did was each couple had to come up with their own idea for a meal. Luckily we had 3 couples which meant one couple was assigned to appetisers, the next was the main meal and then last but not least someone had to tackle the dessert. For our dinner party we had bruschetta for an appetiser, halloumi (special type of cheese you fry), barbecue sweet chilli chicken with garlic mashed potatoes and lastly we topped it off with apple crumble, chocolate mouse and vanilla ice cream. The best part about the night was that we didn’t have to go to a restaurant to get top quality food. Everything tasted great and we had many laughs through out the night. Add some Moet and strawberries to your evening as well as pink roses for the table and then you are set to have a fun dinner party your guests will love!

Carly Jensen xo     photo 1-4 photo 3-2

Why I Started Blogging?

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I remember the day I decided to start “Thoughts With Carly.” It was like everything hit me at once. It was one of those moments when I knew it was what I was suppose to do. It has been almost 2 years since I started my blog and it has definitely grown a lot since then.

I am writing this post because the further along you get into blogging it becomes harder to remember why you started in the first place. You start to look at all the top bloggers out there and get a bit insecure. You see everything from fashion to beauty and you realise how many bloggers there really are.

When I sometimes feel like my blog is not where I want it to be yet I remember what my purpose was in the first place. I wanted to share my thoughts and wisdom with people. I wanted to spread positivity and inspiration to anyone who needed to hear it. Along the way, I have written about many different lifestyle topics but I always lean towards self improvement posts. The best thing about blogging is that you don’t have to follow a certain set of rules. If you want to blog about food one day then fashion the next you are totally allowed to do so. Blogging is all about what you enjoy and what you feel.

When I look back through my posts I can tell there were times where I went off course and was trying to be someone I wasn’t. It doesn’t matter how many times I try, I will never be that fashion blogger who takes the perfect pictures with the best clothes on. But why would I? That isn’t me and that isn’t why I started Thoughts With Carly. For all the bloggers that come to a point where they wonder why they are doing it, just remember why you started. What was your purpose of writing? Are you trying to inspire people through food and self improvement? Maybe you are trying to show people how they should care for their bodies. Whatever it might be try not to forget your purpose. Follow your own blogging path and you will find your own sense of success.

Carly Jensen xo

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Photo taken from 27thandluxe.blogspot.com

Enthusiasm is Key

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One of the best traits you can have is enthusiasm. It changes your world from dull and boring into a place that dances with excitement. Some people think you either are enthusiastic or your not, however, I believe enthusiasm can be created on your own terms. People have always said to me that I get excited about things very easily. I sometimes get confused after people say that because inside I genuinely think most things that I have to do are great. Now don’t get me wrong, cleaning dishes daily isn’t the greatest nor is having to go for a daily run but I believe with most things if you think about the outcome, enthusiam starts to grow.

Why be enthusiastic?

Some of the happiest and most successful people are the ones who are excited to live. They wake up with a zest for life and bring that into everything they do. When you have enthusiasm in your life it brightens you up and gives you hope that you too can get excited again. Some of you might be reading this right now and are thinking that you have to be all daisies and sunshine. The more I thought about it I realised that enthusiasm is a choice. The ones who aren’t enthusiastic are choosing to see their life and situations as negatives. With that all being said, here are my 3 easy tips on becoming more enthusiastic:

1) Think about the outcome – Obviously you get excited about things you like, but what about getting excited about even mediocre things?  For instance, by having to clean the dishes and tidy up your house rather than thinking about the not so fun task at hand, how about think about the outcome. After you get through the short term pain, your house will be cleaned and you will feel better. Same goes for when you have to hit the gym, rather than making it a big hassle, think about how good you are being to your body that will help you in the long run.

2) Think about how fortunate you are – For those who know me, I almost fall off my chair in excitement when someone mentions food. Whether their is a pizza box in front of me or someone is talking about a new restaurant I go mental. Now I know everyone doesn’t get as excited about little things like that but instead of just rubbing the small things off, express gratitude. While you shrug your shoulder to that same pizza you get weekly, think about how many people in this world would kill for just a bite. The more you start feeling enthused towards minor things the more you will understand how lucky you are to be able to have them.

3) Accept it, make the most of it – No matter what you are doing, good or bad, accept it and make the most of it. If you are stuck at a function you can’t get out of, you have two choices. A) Be angry and sulk all night B) Enjoy yourself and have fun. Fake it till you make is one of my favourite quotes and it is so true. Wherever you are, be completely there and make the most of it, enthusiasm will come naturally later.

Carly Jensen xo

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Photo credit: paloma81.blogspot.com, agirlsrighttodream.tumblr.com

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

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One of my favourite books that I read recently is called “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” by Dale Carnegie. Put simply, it’s a guide on how to stop worrying about the trivial things that happen in your life. Whether you’re stressed about things that haven’t happened or you’re letting people get in your head, Dale will teach you how to conquer your worry.

The best thing about this book is that it’s practical. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out. Anyone can apply his simple tips and observe the results right away. Dale uses real life examples of people who have been through terrible times to help deliver these lessons. He takes you back through history and allows you to realize that people have been dealing with the same issues for centuries. Not only this, but Dale simplifies the solutions and makes them practical for every day life.

Here are my 3 favourite lessons that I learned from this book :

1) Live in Day Tight Compartments – This means to break up your day into smaller tasks and work on each thing as it comes. There is no need to start worrying about the things you have to do later. By living in day tight compartments it helps you to only deal with what is in front of you. From this lesson I started making a daily schedule to help me organize what I have to do instead of panicking about my day as a whole. It made me realize that if I just calm down and do one task at a item everything will get done.

2) Get Busy – Have you ever been worried about something but then got so busy you forgot about it? This happens all the time and we don’t even realize it. When your not doing anything your mind has time to think about problems and it enables you to worry yourself crazy. Dale’s cure for this is to get so busy in your life that you forget to worry. Follow your passions, join a club, go for a run, get so busy doing other things that you won’t have a minute of time to worry.

3) The High Cost of Getting Even – “Let’s love ourselves so much that we won’t permit our enemies to control our happiness, our health and our looks”. Why let your enemies get in your head? Think about how happy your enemies would be to know you spend your days angry at them. No one can break your peace unless you let them. Forgive your enemies and don’t let them stress and worry you.

Carly Jensen xo

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Photo credit: noblenovella.tumblr.com, becuo.com, quotepixel.com

How To Travel Thailand On A Budget

IMG_1530.JPG Thailand – the tropical country that has literally something for everyone. Whether shopping is your thing or spending your days lounging on golden sand beaches, you are definitely in for a treat. Now since it can be quite difficult to save large amounts of money, I am going to give you the safe proof way on how to travel Thailand on a budget. I would start by asking yourself what your main priorities are for your trip and make a list of what is important to you and what you could live without doing. You would be surprised how much you can actually fit in, in a short period of time. For myself, I like to do everything there is possible and still have time to relax so if you don’t have tons of money you can still get away with accomplishing all you want. First thing I would do is plan all the places you want to go to. A great starting point I would say is Bangkok because it has so much to do and fully throws you into Thai culture right away. For people new to Thailand I would stay along Khao San Road because it has everything you would need right on that one strip. Start your day with a great breakfast, get a massage at Charlie’s Massage Parlour (the best place), then spend your day shopping or taking a Tuk Tuk to a nearby temple and experience Buddhism and monk culture. The best way to save money on lunches is to get a delicious pad Thai from the ladies who make them right on the street. I would recommend the pad Thai place right in front of the 7 Eleven on Khao San Road, we ate there almost every day and it cost pretty much nothing. Here are my 6 tips on how to travel Thailand on a budget:

1) Research – Take a look online at websites like Trip Advisor and hotels.com for accommodation reviews and tips on where to eat and what to do.

2) Set a daily budget – Take out a weeks worth of cash at a time and then only take out the daily amount you are prepared to spend each day. We budgeted to spend about $80 a day which in Thai Baht is around 2400.

3) Speak to people – Talk to your friends, this is probably the most important thing you can do because everyone knows someone who has travelled to Thailand and can give you tips on what to do, where to stay and ways you can save money.

4) Take inexpensive transport – Instead of flying everywhere try and take trains and buses to the locations you are trying to get to. This will save you a whole heap of money.

5) Check prices on Trip Advisor – Make sure you take a look on Trip Advisor to see how much you are suppose to be paying for something so you aren’t getting ripped off.

6) Don’t be afraid of hole in the wall places! Try something new… Spend $2 on dinner rather than Western restaurants which could cost up to $10 … Research on Trip Advisor and Yelp because they recommend great places to eat. At the end of the day the cheap hole in the wall places taste the best anyways.

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IMG_1510-0.JPG Enjoy your trip, Carly Jensen xo

Simplify Your Life! The Concept of Minimalism

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Minimalism? Now what the hell does that mean? As I sat during my shift at work I did my usual scan of every interesting website I could get my eyes on. I came across an interesting topic I had not really heard much about. For a good 5 hours I read as many blogs about minimalism as I could and I found that it can be something everyone can apply to their lives. Now before I go ahead, I know some of you may be thinking that this whole concept seems crazy and too difficult to apply. You have probably read that you must only own 100 items, walk everywhere, become a vegan hippie and never do anything that involves money. I will be the first to say that yes that may be an extreme way of looking at minimalism but just like anything in life there are NO RULES on how to do something! Now that we have that out of the way we can start to adjust to the feeling of living with less.

Okay time for the official definition from my favourite minimalist blog the minimalists.com. They sum it up into one simple sentence “Minimalism is a tool used to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.” The more I thought about the idea that becoming minimalist seems brilliant, I remembered a story I learned in high school about a very rich king who had every material possesion and he loved each one like they were his own children. He wasn’t a very nice man and all he cared about was being rich and owning all these marvelous possessions. As he lay on his death bed there was no one there to say goodbye to him and once he died there was a very valueble  lesson to be learned. That lesson was that it doesn’t matter how many possessions you have, once you die they don’t come to the grave with you. When your laying in the cemetery there is no competition for who has the most possessions.

With this all being said does that not excite you that you can finally put that wallet away, relax and be happy! You are no longer bound by the stress spending brings and you no longer have to be in competition with the people you know about who has more stuff. You can walk outside and smell the roses again and smile at that neighbour you were always in competition with and think to yourself “well I finally have it all! I’m happy.” You can walk down the streets while watching people carry their excess shopping bags and feel absolutely free. So if you are ready to free yourself from the obsession that material items bring then follow my easy tips to simplifying your life.

1) Say NO to constant shopping – Okay, I will admit it this will be definitely hard for me especially since having new clothes and looking good is something I value but I am going to make a goal that unless it is something I desperately need then there is no reason to buy it.

2) Declutter your home and work space – This one is huge, most people probably don’t realise how much added stress is put upon them as well as the amount of time wasted when things aren’t clean. Start by going through each room of your house and start throwing away things that you no longer use or no longer need. As well go through that large clothing closet of yours and throw out all those silly items that you don’t even wear. Trust me you don’t need 500 t-shirts, you only wear 4 anyways.

3) Choose 1 day a week to wipe your schedule clean – I think having a schedule for your life is important to some extent because you need to get things done on day to day basis but that being said minimalism is all about finding more time for important things in life and the things that matter. Start small by wiping your schedule once a week and try and do nothing at all. You will have more time to enjoy yourself and spend time with the people that really matter. By doing this you will get to know yourself better and who better to get to know than the one person you spend your whole life with.

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Minimalism

Carly Jensen xo

Photo credit: stylizimoblog.com, romanceonadime.com, blog.freepeople.com