Writers Block

Writing

It happens to the best of us and it comes out of nowhere. Some days you are filled with ideas and others you have no idea what to write about. All bloggers, writers and creatives battle with this problem and I have found some ways to conquer it so that it doesn’t get the best of you.

Writers block to me is.. “a stop in your creative juices” leading to pretty much no thoughts. This obviously happens because even though the mind is constantly thinking it is tough for it to come up with new innovative ideas all the time. The best thing you can do for writers block is to step completely outside the situation and do something different.

1) Be Creative – Draw, paint, make a mind map in order to get those creative juices flowing. Take yourself away from the writing and find another creative outlook.

2) Go for a Run/Walk – Not only does exercise release endorphins it also helps you come up with ideas. Anytime I go for a walk or run I come up with new things to write about.

3) Face the Problem – When I can’t think of what to write, I face it head on and talk about it. Make a post about what your feeling and what is going through your mind.

Good luck and happy writing!

Carly Jensen xo

No need to panic, Instagram isn’t everything!

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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!

Good Luck,

Carly Jensen xo

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

Social Media – The Love/Hate Relationship

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Addictions come in all shapes and sizes, often times in the traditional form of drugs, alcohol and gambling. However we’re now seeing new addictions in the form of social media and selfies, also spiking the endorphins in our brain. I have a severe addiction to my phone, like many people do. When I wake up I like to check my Instagram feed to see what has happened during the 8 hours I had been asleep. I call this post the love/hate relationship because it truly is something I love to do and at other times need to learn to switch off.

There are plenty of critics out there that will say our generation doesn’t understand the true meaning of face to face relationships anymore. I will even admit, when I walk to the train in the morning before work I am looking at my phone, and when I look up, everyone else is too. I believe the power of social media and the internet has created a virtual life for each and every one of us that makes us feel like we are right inside our phones. When I look at the photos from a dinner I had the other night it makes me feel like I am experiencing it all again. We have a need to stay connected and I don’t believe it is necessarily a bad thing, I think we just need to learn to switch off at times as well.

The reason I know social media isn’t a terrible thing is because most of my career success has been launched from it. Whether it be writing my blog, posting photos for people to see or learning new things to further my potential, social media has enabled me to do so. For that I am ever so grateful and thankful. The only time it gets in the way is when I stare at my phone for too long looking at absolutely nothing. There comes a point of addiction where I will keeping trying to scroll through Instagram hoping a new photo will be there to feed my brain. I am sitting there waiting for a new delicious coffee photo, a new beach picture, just to keep my brain buzzing. This is what we do to ourselves when it becomes too much. We wait for new pictures, new gossip and new stories in order to keep ourselves entertained. We are in a day and age where we constantly need to be stimulated.

My tips to switching off from time to time:

1) Separate yourself from your phone for at least 1 hour a day – Whether you are going to the gym, going to grocery shop or whatever it might be…leave your phone at home and talk to the person you are with. If you are not with anyone, try to look around, there’s a lot to see right in front of you.

2) Go outside! – Go for a walk, a run, or play a sport.. It is hard to hold your phone while you are doing something active!

3) Let go of needing to know every detail – If you can’t make it to the bottom of the Instagram scroll… ITS OKAY! You are still alive, you didn’t miss anything, life is still happening.

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Carly Jensen xo

Photo credit: guardianlv.com, Banksy

What Gets You Out Of Bed?

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Why do you get out of bed in the morning? What drives you? What is that one thing that makes you face the day? Everyone has something. Maybe you have more than one thing. Maybe it is your kick ass job. Maybe it is the job you are trying to get. Maybe you get out of bed for someone in particular. I want you to ask yourself this question and if you can’t think of anything you ain’t trying hard enough. If you don’t have something why get out of bed? Do you do it because you have to or because it is what society claims as socially acceptable.

Why not get out of bed in the morning with a purpose. Brainstorm your reasons and see how far you can take it. If making money drives you to get out of bed then ask yourself why? What will that money do for you? Is it for your own self worth? Do you get out of bed to feel like you’ve made it? To help give yourself a feeling of success.

You have to have a reason, you got to have a purpose. I stress this so much because people everyday drift around without a purpose. You were not put on this earth to “drift” you were put on earth because you are powerful beyond belief and you DO have a purpose. Starting tomorrow I want you to wake up with something in mind. Whether you have 10 things your waking up for or only 1 it doesn’t matter. Waking up with a reason to be alive is not only good for yourself it will rub off on the people around you.

Carly Jensen xo

El Habanero Serves it Hot

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Nestled away at the end of Clarendon Street is the newest Mexican hombre to join the Melbourne family. El Habanero is a fun modern and most importantly authentic Mexican joint that opened up about 4 months ago. Luckily for me I live right by it and get to experience their delicious tacos whenever I feel like it.

My two favourite things we ordered was the simple yet delicious chicken tacos. As well the suprisingly mouth watering deliciousness of the fish taco. Now normally I wouldn’t be open to eating fish but these tacos had some sort of chipotle cream drizzled over the top. Inside the taco you were presented with a cool cucumber salad, red cabbage, marinated meat all on top of a true corn tortilla.

To drink we had lime margaritas that had enough tequila in them to make me go loco. The best part about the meal was it was reasonably priced which obviously left us feeling content and not broke. For those looking for a new restaurant to try, why not check out El Habanero. Believe me, the hot sauce is hot so take at your own risk.

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Happy Eating!

Carly Jensen xo

Nespresso Anyone?

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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.

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Enjoy,

Carly Jensen xo

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

<a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/10273866/?claim=h2fzp3f3sya”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Photo taken from 27thandluxe.blogspot.com

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

Red Velvet Muffins

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Now if you guys are like me then you will agree there is absolutely no better dessert than red velvet. Whether it is cake or cupcakes there is just something about that cream cheese icing I just can’t get enough of. I recently stumbled upon a cute cafe that served red velvet muffins so I thought I would find a recipe that will let us all be able to enjoy these delicious treats.

Red Velvet Muffins:

75g butter, softened
¾ cup caster sugar
1 egg
1½ cups flour
¼ cup BOURNVILLE Cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon no taste red food colour
1 teaspoon white vinegar
½ teaspoon bicarbonate soda
250g PHILADELPHIA Block Cream Cheese, softened
2/3 cup full cream milk powder
2/3 cup icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla

Baking Instructions:

CREAM the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well. Add the sifted dry ingredients and combined buttermilk and food colour and beat just to combine.

COMBINE the vinegar and bicarbonate soda and then stir through the cake mixture.

SPOON into 12 x 1/3 cup capacity patty paper lined muffin pans. Bake in a moderate oven 180oC for 20 minutes or until cooked when tested. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before turning out of pan to cool completely.

BEAT together the remaining ingredients with an electric mixer until smooth. Spread frosting over cooled muffins and serve immediately.

Enjoy,

Carly Jensen xo

Recipe from cadburykitchen.com.au