Now that I finally have a place to call home, I’ve started to piece together the things my place is missing! Here is a little glimpse at some of the things I’m hoping to add to my apartment to make it cozier.
One of the things I’ve found challenging with decorating a new place and calling it “home”, is accommodating the needs of a housemate! I love my housemate, but we have very different styles, and it’s definitely not something I considered when planning a new place. When you share an apartment it has to feel like “home” to everyone living in it! Simple, and more neutral items seem to be the best way around this issue. We’re also limited on wall art because we’re preventing creating too many holes in our walls (lease conditions). I’ve found plants help brighten up a space a lot, which has meant a desire for new vases and pots.
Practically speaking, ever since a friend of mine introduced “yonana” machines to me, I’ve been addicted and want one of my own! It’s essentially a blender that mixes frozen fruits together (mandatory banana required) to make “fro-yo” without yogurt. This is great for me because I’m slightly intolerant to dairy. I’ve also been told that a food processor would serve a similar function, but I have neither a food processor, nor a “yonana” machine. Realistically, I’d be very happy with either option in my very limited kitchen.
Despite some limitations I’m really happy with my new place! If you have any simple tips for making an apartment more homey though, I’d really appreciate them!
If you have a diamond ring, there are so many cleaning solutions available to you on the internet that you don’t really have to worry about how to clean your rings. For gals like me that have a different stone in their engagement or wedding band, it can be a little bit nerve wracking trying to pick out a solution that wont damage your stone. For this reason, I have resorted to the simplest cleaning solution possible to keep my rings clean and sparkly.
Warm water and mild dishwashing liquid. It’s as simple as that. I also recommend this option to all you diamond gals as well because of how gentle it is on your stones. I’m the type of girl that tends to forget to take my rings off when I’m cooking which always causes the openings on the side of my ring to get really dirty. It’s not a pretty sight so it’s nice to have a safe cleaning method available to get all that gunk out of there.
Step one: Fill up a small glass with warm water. Add a small amount of dishwashing liquid.
Step two: Place your rings inside the glass and let sit for at least 30 minutes.
Step three: Take your rings out and using a soft-bristle tooth brush, gently use it to scrub any indents or openings in your ring.
Step four: If they are completely clean, rinse and dry off. If they still seem to be a little bit dirty, let them soak for a while longer and repeat the scrubbing process.
It really is simple and the safest way to clean your rings. Also be sure to take your rings in once a year to get them professionally checked to make sure none of the stones are coming loose.
This post was sponsored by Anjolee which is a website that allows you to customize your own engagement ring or jewelry. All of their diamonds are conflict free and certified. Check them out if you are in the market for some new bling ;)
Zakopane was my absolute favourite destination out of all the places we visited while in Europe, but I also have the least amount of photos here. It’s funny how it always works out like that. I think it’s because I get so taken aback by certain types of beauty and it makes it difficult to remember to pull out my camera, which is okay with me. I like to have enough photos to trigger memories in the future but I’m not the kind of person that needs to document every little thing while on vacation. Sometimes it takes away from actually enjoying the experience, you know?
Zakopane is the perfect spot for people wanting to see the cities of Poland but also love the outdoors. We were only about an hour and a half away from Krakow and any other day trip we wanted to take but each night we were able to wake up to a stunning view of the mountains and hillsides. We stayed at Redyk hotel, which is the highest altitude hotel in all of Poland. It is only about a 5-10 minute drive to the actual town of Zakopane and you really can’t beat the views we got so I’m so glad we decided to go with that hotel. The road up to it is the smallest road I have ever driven on. There is only enough room for one car so if another one is coming towards you, you each have to move onto your shoulder of the road as much as possible. This mixed with the crazy steep inclines made for a couple of nerve wracking trips up the mountain especially because of how fast the locals drive on those tiny roads! We were laughing saying that the locals probably view us as we do southerners driving in snow. It’s just something you end up getting used to and then it becomes second nature.
One of our day trips while visiting Zakopane was to go and view both Auschwitz 1 and Auschwitz 2. It was a tough thing to see and made our hearts extremely heavy but I think that if you are close by, it is definitely something everyone should experience. I don’t think any images or stories can really describe the emotions you experience while walking around the grounds. With that being said, there is a certain level of maturity that goes with attending a memorial like that and some of the things we saw while there from other visitors was so appalling. I think a lot of the people there viewed it as just another tourist attraction which included taking selfies in the cabins where the people selected to be killed where forced to live until a “spot opened up” for them, loudly talking while walking through the gas chamber where we were asked to be respectful and give those who passed a moment of silence, and the worst thing was the jokes. People actually had the audacity to make concentration camp jokes while walking through a place where over a million people were killed. I honestly couldn’t believe it. You would see someone mourning over a loved one, placing a stone or flower on the mass gravestone and then pass someone else smirking and making a joke. I appreciate that it is free to all people who want to see it because it is an important part of history that should never be forgotten but it’s sad that because it is of no cost, a lot of people go just to check it off their tourist destinations checklist.
Some tips I have for people who are actually wanting to visit the site for the right reasons are:
Watch the documentary “Auschwitz” first. You can find it on Netflix and it is the most informative documentary I have ever watched on the matter. It is a 6 part series where they interview survivors, past SS members and family members who were affected. It is a sad thing to watch but it allows you to really understand what went down at the two camps before you walk around them.
If you watch the documentary beforehand you will be able to tour the grounds without a tour guide. We liked this better because we were able to walk around at our own pace and really take in everything around us. You also can break away from the crowds this way so you can experience each building and memorial in silence.
Give yourselves at least five hours to tour the whole place. We spent about 3-4 hours at Auschwitz 2 and only an hour at Auschwitz 1. We didn’t see all that we could have at Auschwitz 1 because by that point it was late in the day and it was pretty crowded. I would give yourselves at least 2 hours here if you want to see everything.
If you decide to not take the tour (which is around 15 euros a person) you can only view Auschwitz 1 during certain times of the day. This worked out for us because we just took our time walking around Auschwitz 2 until we were able to visit the second location.
Park at Auschwitz 1. They have a free shuttle that takes you back and forth from each location.
Sorry I went on a bit of a rant there, guys. It was just something that really bothered me and I needed to get it out of my system. All in all, Zakopane was such a charming town. The people couldn’t have been nicer and it was such a relaxing week.
Now that I’m living on the East Coast, I’ve had some time to process my move and the changes it entails. A new city, new friends, and a new workload is exciting and fresh! I’ve already experienced some of the fantastic opportunities this move has to offer. I’ve run through coastal gardens, gone whale watching, dressed up for cocktail parties, and enjoyed my first fresh lobster. Everyone I have met has been kind and welcoming. I already feel a lot of love for Halifax. Despite these wonderful changes, I am still overcome with moments of hesitancy. I’ve been working on ways to cope with them.
One of the hardest things I’ve been coping with is missing those who aren’t near. I have incredible friends, and I miss them! The cynic in me wonders if any of the new people I am meeting could have souls as beautiful as the ones I left behind. This is the worst attitude to have! I’ve been working on understanding that you can always have room for more people and different relationships in your life. Relationships take time to reach a level where you are truly comfortable with one another. That is not going to happen right away. I’ve been slowly opening my mind to the idea that friendships take time, and that you don’t have to have sparks or an immediate “click” to meet a solid, incredible person.
A move of any sorts seems to make you reassess your life and the person you want to become. After all, this is an opportunity you are creating for yourself (for whatever reason), that will change the way you have been living your life. During my move I kept thinking of the qualities about myself that I wanted to maintain and the qualities I wanted to change. I’m trying to hold myself accountable to maintain a healthy lifestyle (i.e. keeping up the running Alex and I trained so hard for), and to continue to balance my work life with a social one. I’ve found setting small goals such as scheduling one creative activity a week, allows for you to accomplish these things!
In terms of life changes, I’m working on wasting less time and making the most out of the moments I have “free”. Less youtube and more painting on the everyday schedule! I’ve also been trying to let go of the things I regret. Regret is a painful emotion that becomes very heavy if you dwell on it. I have made my share of mistakes, but I have learned from them. Learning from mistakes and moving forward is what makes you grow as an individual. New city, clean slate? I’m wearing: Top- Modcloth, Skirt- Old Navy (similar), Booties- Target.
Making a big move can be scary, but making the most out of the opportunities change provides you with is what makes every moment worth it! I’m so grateful this beautiful coastal city is my new home.
It’s time for the next destination stop from my past trip to Europe! Although we didn’t stay here very long (it was just a day trip) I really loved the city of Krakow. Sure, it was very busy and there were a lot of tourists roaming around but it was extremely beautiful and historic looking. I’ve always been a lover of flea & farmers markets so I really enjoyed wandering around the huge market they had in the heart of the city. I would even go as far as recommending a visit to Krakow for that reason alone. If that’s not your thing though there are so many other beautiful old buildings and churches you can tour and learn about! Some must see’s include, St. Mary’s church and St. Florian’s Gate.
I really do wish we had the time to visit and explore this city a little more but from what we did see it is worth another visit!