I have been on a blogging hiatus due to major writers block and not really wanting to write. I made it to a point though where I am okay with that. I used to beat myself up if I didn’t have anything to write or if I didn’t post something at least once a week.
I realised blogging should never be a chore. I started blogging for my love of writing and sharing my thoughts with others and that is why I will continue to blog. I realised there is no “right” way to do something. If I want to post a piece once a month that is fine. Blogging should be about you and your readers and that is it. It shouldn’t be restricted to timelines and certain days you need to post. Blogging should be enjoyable and each post should mean something. There isn’t a need to post something just to get a post up. I found myself writing things just to make sure I got something up and that wasn’t me. The writing wouldn’t be honest and truthful which is the opposite of what I want.
When it comes to blogging there is no right way to do it. As long as you are writing what you want and it comes from the heart that is all that matters.
Carly Jensen xo
Who are you? What is your purpose? Why do you continue to go to that job you hate? I will be harsh here and say its a cop out. You would rather be average and not pursue your passion. Why? Whether you believe in reincarnation or heaven, one thing we all know is that nobody is sure what comes next. Why waste what you have? Who cares if you fail? You have nothing to prove to anyone so why not make a splash. Be fearless! Nobody is judging you so go on and be who your meant to. What would it take you to go in the direction of your dreams? Would you need someone to tell you it was your last day on earth? At the end of the day you have to make the change yourself. Why not make that change today?
Look in the mirror ask yourself “Who am I?” Go be that.
Carly Jensen xo
Photo taken from http://www.worldaccordingtomaggie.com
As soon as I deleted it off my phone, my hands began to shake. Two days of no Instagram how was I going to cope? Well I better go about my day as usual I thought. Without having Instagram on my phone I wasn’t tempted once to look at it. I began to realise that life didn’t end just because I couldn’t look at photos 24/7. It was quite a freeing feeling not having to worry about constantly checking photos. If you become hooked enough on Instagram it can feel as though its your job to make sure you see all the photos. I felt free and I realised I didn’t even look at my phone. It showed me that the majority of my phone time was spent on Instagram and once I didn’t have it I had more free time to spend on important things.
Reasons to give Instagram a rest:
1) There is more to life than obsessing over photos.
2) Everything is okay in moderation – Don’t quit it altogether but give yourself a rest once a month.
3) Build stronger relationships with the people you know – You will be surprised how much there is to talk about and connect with people when you don’t bring your phone places.
4) Focus more on your important tasks – Whether it be blogging, homework or a new project, you have more time to focus and create quality work.
I challenge everyone to give up Instagram for two days every month!
Carly Jensen xo
Royal Croquet Club sets up in Melbourne for 2 weeks of delicious foods, live entertainment, Pimm’s Cups and of course croquet games. The Croquet club was more than your typical festival. It was a full on lifestyle event that catered to the hearts of many. If you are into trendy foods like myself then you would have been in heaven. The festival had every type of food you could imagine and the best of all was Gelato Messina with their Campbell’s soup inspired gelato. Their were four different flavours of gelato all with funky names and packaged in a different colour “soup can”. From a marketing and public relations stand point, Gelato Messina absolutely killed it with their branding. If you attended the Croquet Club, there is a guarantee you have a picture with their cool soup can. If you haven’t seen the craze yet, search the hashtag #royalcroquetclub or #gelatomessina on Instagram for tons of pictures from the festival.
To go along with the great food, the decorations, the lights and the music were very on point. It totally made you feel like you were transported to an old school festival with a modern twist. Pimm’s was also one of the main sponsors which made the cocktail lovers jump for joy as they got to have a perfect summer drink in hand. Festivals like these are so important as I believe because it takes you out of your everyday routine and shakes it up with imagination. It made me feel like I was 6 years old eating ice cream at a fair. The best part about things like the Croquet Club is that you are never too old to go out and enjoy yourself.
If you haven’t checked it out yet you still have today and tomorrow to go enjoy some Pimm’s and Gelato Messina!
Carly Jensen xo
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
My love for coffee is extreme and what more could a girl ask for then to receive a Nespresso machine for Christmas. Now this coffee machine isn’t your typical Keurig or Tassimo. This one produces delicious varieties of espresso which you can then create either a latte or cappuccino. Obsessed might be an understatement when I am talking about how much I love this machine.
It is quite simple to use, you start by filling up the back with water and making sure you do a system clean before having your coffee. You then add milk to the canister on the right and fill it up to the correct line. If you want a latte you will fill it up to the higher line and if you want a cappuccino you stop the milk at the first line. As well, you must take the spiral piece off inside the milk canister if you are wanting to have a latte because then it won’t give you the foam. You then select which capsule you would like to use and there are many different varieties and intensities to choose from. My top favourites are Roma, Livanto, Fortissio Lungo and Vanilio. You then lift up the silver handle on top and put the capsule in and close the top of the Nespresso. Then you select either the left side for a shorter coffee or the right side button for a larger one and wait for the coffee to come out.
I should mention you would obviously want to make sure you have a cup under and ready to go at this point. Press the milk button on the canister and let it heat up and it shouldn’t take more than a minute. Once the Nespresso capsule is emptied into your cup add your hot milk and then top it off with the foam. If you are having a cappuccino add some chocolate powder to the top.
The best thing about the Nespresso is that the coffee is always nice and hot and tastes like something out of a real cafe. I can now sit on my couch at home and enjoy cafe quality coffee.
Carly Jensen xo
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
Calling all spice lovers! I have a chilli for you that will literally knock your socks off. If spice is your thing then this chilli and you will get along great. It is a pretty easy recipe it just takes time to strengthen the flavour. The best part about this chilli is that you will have leftovers for days and the taste gets better as the days go on.
1) Ground Beef (500 g)
2) 1 Large Onion
3) 1 Red Capsicum (Pepper)
4) 1 Green Capsicum (Pepper)
5) Kidney Beans (3 Cans)
6) Mixed Beans (1 Can)
7) Crushed Tomatoes (2 Cans)
8) Corn (1 Can)
9) 1 Carrot
10) 1 Celery
11) Chilli Powder (2 Tablespoons)
12) Cayenne Pepper (Half a Teaspoon)
13) Cumin (1 Tablespoon)
14) Grated Cheddar Cheese
15) Sour Cream
16) Salt n Pepper
17) Sourdough Bread
Start by cooking the ground beef and chopped up onion together in a large saucepan. Cook the meat thoroughly so it is completely brown (10-15 minutes). Cut all your vegetables into bite sized pieces then add all ingredients into pot except the celery, corn, sour cream and cheese. Cooking on medium heat, stir all the vegetables and spices together. Leave this to cook for about 45 minutes to an hour. Add the celery and corn into the pot during the last 10 minutes. Final steps are to dish the chilli into bowls, garnish with grated cheese and a dollop of sour cream then serve with your heated up sourdough bread and butter. You are now officially ready to enjoy your delicious spicy chilli!
Carly Jensen xo
Food Credit: Nick Thompson
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
Photo credit: paloma81.blogspot.com, agirlsrighttodream.tumblr.com
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.
Enjoy your trip, Carly Jensen xo