Save or Splurge?

If you were suddenly 700 dollars or 519 euros (aren't exchange rates fun?) richer would you save it or spend it? 

Yesterday out of nowhere, I received a refund for overpaying on a loan, that I paid off a few years ago. Pretty awesome right? Now what to spend it on. The practical side of me, the one that puts a third of her paycheck into savings each month, would normally just save it. But the more fun side of me, really, really, really wants a new couch. This time the more fun side of me is going to win, it just has to. When I moved to the Netherlands, I inherited the Verlo's standard ikea couch that every college student has. It is short on style and way short on comfort. Plus, we have lived here for almost two years and the only homey thing we have done to the space is paint one wall dark purple. Its like we live in a dorm. 

Yes, I am justifying my spending needlessly to you readers. But, sometimes it helps to talk things through, you know? Don't worry, when I redo the living room, I'll totally show you guys! 

What was your last splurge? Are you more of a saver or a spender? 

 

 

Until next time,

Image credit

Weekly Wishes

Today I am linking up with Melyssa of the Nectar Collective, you might remember her as my first Snail Mail Collective partner. Every Monday, she does a series called Weekly Wishes, which is about focusing on short-term goals. As you guys have probably guessed, I am a huge planner so this appeals to me greatly. Here it goes for this week:

1. Make and put into place plans for blog posts, a study schedule, a meal plan for October, a writing schedule, a new budget and a chore list. I haven't been doing a great job of adjusting now that I have a set schedule and a job to go to full time. This needs to stop because it is wearing me out! 

2. Finish the back loads of laundry I have. I really, really want to donate out about half my wardrobe. Either it doesn't fit, or is old fashion. Plus I have to except the fact that I live in Europe and clothes storage will always be much less than what I had in the States. Plus, people tend to care less if you wear the same thing often.

3. Eat more whole foods. Have you guys watched Forks over Knives? I don't necessarily agree with every single point in the documentary, but some if it is pretty compelling. Plus, I have some medical tests coming up in 2 weeks for some ongoing issues and it can never hurt to eat better right?

What are you wanting to do this week?

Until next time,

 

The Nectar Collective

Are You There Blog? It's Me Kaitlin

Oh my dears, I have missed you so much! I now know why people schedule guest posts when they travel, it is just too darn hard to find the time to post when you are not home. There is so much I want to tell you! I feel like my I've been going non-stop for the last month. I have some big things on the horizon like posting more regularly and finding my blogging passion again. I mean, I have to tell you guys about the States right?

I love you guys for sticking around, and if you are new, welcome I do actually post here. 

What have I missed in your lives? 

P.S Don't you guys love my hat, I stole it from my Nana. 

 

Until next time!

 

 

28 Things Before I'm 28!

Hello Lovelies,

I hope you are all having a wonderful day! Today, I turn 27.  This year, I really thought hard about my list of things I want to accomplish before this time next year. I think I did so horribly last year on my list because I didn't make a plan for how to achieve them. This year, theses are being printed out and posted. No more out of sight out of mind. Here goes the list!

  1. Learn Dutch: This is my number one priority this year. I know, I say this every year, but this year there will be no other distractions. 
  2. Learn to Sew: I really really want to learn to sew. Really really! Someone teach me please?
  3. Ride my Bike to Work: My new job participates in the National Bike Program, which means that I can get a brand new bike for very cheap. It would take me 40 minutes each way, which is less time than the bus takes.
  4. Grow my Blog: Just be a blogger in general. What kind of posts do you like? What do you want to see from me?
  5. Be a More Active Commenter: I am such a blog creeper, its time to start connecting with my favs!
  6. Organize More Blogger Brunches: Ladies it has been too long!
  7. Become a Better Photographer: We just bought our first DSLR and now, we want to learn how to use it. And, I want there to be more photos here in each post.
  8. Take Care of my Health: It is time to get serious about my health, especially since there might be a   chance there might be babies in the not so distance future. 
  9. Start Exercising: There is a gym less than a 2 minute walk from my flat. I need to at least check it  out.
  10. Try a New Sport: I promised my doctor I would.
  11. Write More Letters. This is one of the reasons why I love the Snail Mail Collective. I can't wait to introduce you guys to my partner this month!
  12. Be a Better Godmother: Being far away from my family is the only thing I hate about living abroad. I'm going to make more of an effort to have regular skype dates with my godbabies!
  13. Skype More with Friends: I miss you guys! Thanks for still making the effort to be my friend even though I live so very far away.
  14. Become a Better Cook: We have been stuck in a rut. I want to try new recipes and different cuisines from around the world. 
  15. Do More Online Courses: Just because I'm not in college anymore doesn't mean I don't want to learn. 
  16. Save 1/3 from Each Paycheck: Just because I am making more money doesn't mean I need to go on a spending spree. This is a mistake soo many of us make.
  17. Finally Put Pen to Paper on 1 of the 3 Novels Floating in my Head:
  18. Go on More Dates: Hooray for having the same days off as your love!
  19. Develop a Personal Style: I am the queen of t-shirts and jeans, which is great if you are in college, not to cute when you are now 3 years shy of 30.
  20. Keep the House Company Ready at All Times: I hate hate hate cleaning, but I do love how relaxed  and inspiring a clean house can be. I also want to have dinner parties.
  21. Hang More Photos: We have lived here almost two years and there is no art on the walls! No wonder I don't feel like this place is super cozy and welcoming. 
  22. Explore more of the Netherlands: I have more weekend time off to go and explore some places a slightly longer train ride away from Utrecht. 
  23. Take Full Advantage of my Vacation Days: One of the best things about working in Europe, the amount on vacation days you get!
  24. Dance in my Kitchen: Because it makes me happy!
  25. Watch Every Episode of Gilmore Girls, Again: Even though I love living in Europe, I really wish that Star's Hollow existed. 
  26. Appreciate the Magic of Everyday Life: It is easy to appreciate the big events in your life, but appreciating the little things in life can go a long way towards making you happy. 
  27. Accomplish my List this Year: Last year, I lost focus on what I wanted. This year, I am going to check back on my list to remind myself what I wanted to accomplish. 
  28. Be Happy!

Whew, 28 things is a lot of stuff! Think I can do it?

Tell me, what do you want to accomplish this year? How do you keep yourself motivated?

Until next time,

 

Birthday's are Strange Creatures

Sure, when you live abroad, your day to day life is challenging at first, but eventually it becomes part of your routine. You forget about the little things that make your daily life different than back at home. For me, the oh my gosh I live in  a different culture are most apparent when it is time for celebrations. 

Each culture has its own way of celebrating times in one's life. With my birthday coming up this Wednesday, I thought I would take the time to share with you some traditional Dutch birthday customs and how they drastically differ from the one's I grew up with. 

Let's start with the overall attitude. Back home, being the birthday girl made you special. People would make you the breakfast you want, take you out to lunch and dinner. Heck some restaurants even give you a free meal or some cake. In the Netherlands, this is not the case. Being the birthday girl means that you invite people over to your house and make sure you are the perfect host. There is no taking it easy because you are the birthday girl. Oh and if you go out for drinks, guess who is picking up the tab for everyone? Yep, that would be you birthday girl. According to the Verlo, it is actually only the first round you are expected to buy, but still!

Although they are less popular with younger generations, Dutch circle parties are still the thing with older generations. During these parties, all the chair are arranged in a circle. When you enter, you must go around the circle and say, "gefeliciteerd met jouw (insert relationship that the person has to the person who is celebrating their birthday) verjaardag, for example gefeliciteerd met jouw dochter's verjaardag. This translates to congratulations with your daughter's birthday- which makes sense, as the parents are responsible for this day. What doesn't make sense is congratulations with your cousin's, boyfriend's, friend's or co-worker's birthday. Also, make sure you make it all the way around the circle. 

The birthday person is also responsible for bringing their own cake into the office. Well actually, you bring your own vlaai. Which is can be either extremely pie like, or can be like a mix between a cake and a pie. I personally like the chocolatey ones. 

Sometimes, I really miss the corner slices of a rose covered butter creamed grocery store cakes. Publix makes the best! I also miss going out for birthday dinners and taking it easy for the day.

Tell me, what are birthday's like for you? Oh and remind me sometime to tell you about birthday bathroom calendars! 

Until next time!

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