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February Declutter: Update

Hello all 🙂

I just wanted to share a quick update on how my February declutter is going. Things are progressing quite nicely. Although I must confess that it seems so odd that I really can’t yet notice the difference that I was hoping to see. Except the bookshelf. My bookshelf makes me smile now!  I have a few theories on why this is. These last few weeks, I have been focusing on random objects. Products that have been used or expired, items that I notice and think to myself ‘I can do without that’, a plate or cup that has been chipped…. So I think that when taking one random item from somewhere and ridding myself of it, it is barely noticed. (This should be a big thing to consider when making future purchases. Is it important enough that I will actually notice if I no longer have it?) When I decluttered my books, I took away everything from the shelves and only replaced the items which I enjoyed, was excited to read or which have a function. Now it looks completely different! I think I need to repeat this process in another area for the upcoming 10 days of this month.

There is one are of the place that’s showing some big spaces. It seems that those electric cuts we had, managed to break some of our small appliances in the kitchen. So, we said goodbye to our coffee machine and microwave. Happily, we do have a press to keep the morning java monsters happy. 😉 In some way, I don’t so much miss the microwave though. Yes, really. I find myself wondering if we really do need to purchase a new one. It makes things easier and faster, of course. But…as we don’t eat ready meals (you know, the ones in the plastic boxes that require a micro), really everything we eat can be heated in the oven. Or that’s how it seems anyway.  *As I sit here thinking to myself….’am I missing something? There has to be something that we like that can only be made in the micro.’….’am I REALLY writing this?? People are going to think I’ve lost it!’*  So, there is that. And in a small space, missing something the size of a micro and coffee machine, well, that does show a big difference.

I am listing below some of the brave people who have joined me in this decluttering challenge (because EVERYTHING is better when you do it with friends!) I’m hoping they will let us know how it’s going and maybe even drop a link if they’ve posted updates too!

Janet’s Writing Blog

Unexpected in Common Hours

365 Days of New

Ghost MNC

Saguren

Chasing Rockwell

Leggy Peggy

Through My Lens

Elle Knowles

How is your February decluttering? Would you like to join us?! 😀

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay


Just point and junk disappears with 1-800-GOT-JUNK? The World’s Largest Junk Removal Service.

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Random Factoids 21.02.2019

Ravens in captivity can learn to talk better than parrots

I think I believe this. Ravens are very vocal creatures.

-Mliae

*Fact sourced via Mentalfloss

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Quirky Quotes 19.02.2019

‘Nobody is so weird others can’t identify with them.’

-Rebecca Miller

🙂

-Mliae

*Photo credit: Appalachian LeadershipAcademy *Quote via Wise Old Sayings


A Question For My Readers – Your Feedback Is Appreciated!

As you have probably seen, I decided to include some affiliate marketing here. I, of course, wanted to sign on with the companies and products that I myself admire. Sustainable fashion/home, luxury items, contemporary furniture, travel and software. Through this process, I have also tried to only offer those things which may be of interest to you, my readers.  I am aware, of course, that most any kind of advertisement goes unnoticed, or worse, makes people adverse to visiting ‘your’ site. But this also includes my being able to offer specialized promo codes. (Which is always nice to be able to share a special discount. I love special discounts!)

You are a very diverse group of people, and so I feel that instead of trying to guess about it, I should really just ask YOU. That’s what we do here…no?

Please, take the time to answer so I can stop being strange about this.

What would you prefer to see OR prefer to NOT see? (as per accessibility/promo codes):

  1. Travel (airfare, sight seeing…)
  2. Sustainable Goods
  3. Luxury Goods
  4. Luxury Resale (consignment)
  5. Software
  6. Gifts
  7. Handcrafted goods
  8. Beauty
  9. Home goods
  10. Helpful services
  11. Any combination of these which interests you (please state which)

This way, I am able to focus on only those things and I can remove myself from the remaining programmes to save everyone some time and frustration.

I would also like to ask you; How important are duties and shipping to you?

Please let me know and I will adjust accordingly.

Thank you for reading (& hopefully answering) this!

-Mliae

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Getting to Know You 17.02.2019

What’s the one thing in your life you could do without?

My answer: Clutter. OK, stress and clutter. I just….can’t.

You?

-Mliae

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Oops! Your Patience Is Needed…

Yours truly decided that she was going to give this blog a complete make-over. In the process, I seem to have installed some items which did not work well with my format and seems to have scrambled … or just deleted…. many things on this website.

Basically, I got a bit over-motivated and broke my site. 🙁

I am working with wordpress to correct these ‘issues’ as quickly as just is possible. Please be understanding. We will find a way to get things back to normal soon!

Thank you 🙂

I. am. an. idiot.

-Mliae


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The Broke Bloggers Guide To Surviving Low Carb Diets

‘So here I am, again.’ I think to myself while standing in the food market. A vegetarian on a low carb diet, wondering what I am supposed to do. (OK, ok…before everyone corrects me – I do eat some fish – so I guess I’m a pescatarian (sp?) ) You see, I also tried the Atkins diet (in the peak of its popularity). And I realised during that time that a protein-rich diet was not for the weak of heart nor the light of wallet.  The diet didn’t last long, as my food servers budget was not enough to justify the expense. Healthy food is expensive! ( I am still trying to understand how a package of spaghetti noodles can cost more than 1 kg of wheat powder. I mean, not just the ingredients but the manufacturing process as well – and still less expensive? Can anyone explain this?!)

Let’s be honest here: Low carb diets are expensive! Not for everyone, sure. But for those of us who have to decide whether to eat steak and fish everyday OR keep the lights on (I hope you choose the lights!) navigating a low carb diet can be a delicate dance with your finances.  I am currently on another low-carb diet (1 of many throughout the years), and this time I have learned a few tricks to stretch my money further. BTW – I’ve managed to drop 6 kgs…Yay! So here are some of my money-saving tricks:

  • Establish a close friendship with eggs. I am not a huge egg fan, but I will tell you that this has been one of my biggest money savers. Eggs don’t cost so much, you can make them 100 different ways and they are filling. 1 3-egg veg omelet will carry me for most of the day without feeling very hungry.
  • Swap out your mayo and crème frâiche for unflavoured yoghurt instead. Unflavoured yoghurt is the food equivalent of multi-functional furniture. You can use it for everything! Dips, salad topping, creme sauce, a base for crème salads, a topping for eggs, and an after food delight mixed with your favourite fruit! Being able to have 1 staple that you can use in multiple ways, will save you money, stress AND its much healthier for you!
  • Try the canned options. I know, I sounds like a bit of a hypocrite here. But when you’re on a budget, eating fresh fish or lean cuts of meat just isn’t an option most of the time. Try canned tuna, or canned chicken if that’s your thing. Incorporating this into a salad is what I do, but there are also many different ways that these products can be incorporated into your daily diet. I mean, not every meal has to be instagram perfect…right?
  • Use filler. I’m using these yoghurt based tuna salads as an example, but these can be used in many different ways. For my salads, I use frozen peas and chopped celery. Both of these items are affordable and they can turn a 1-meal salad into a 2-meal salad. Ultimately reducing the money you spend on food. Same goes for stir-fry. If you add chopped cabbage, carrots and onion – it will create a larger amount of food with a lesser price. (Ever wonder why some restaurants load their food with cabbage? My theory is – that it’s to save money on the food)
  • Try surimi. This may depend on your location, but I have found that in many countries, surimi is very affordable. Not luxurious at all, but it will work as both a quick snack (you really can just eat them cold) as well as easily fried with a bit of lemon and sliced onion. Super easy, very affordable, a good option.
  • Broccoli? Yes, broccoli! Broccoli contains protein, as well as many nutrients and antioxidants which are vital for your health. Toss a handful into your eggs or stirfry, or just steam some to go with your main protein of choice. Frozen or fresh, select the most affordable.
  • Drink a lot of warm lemon water. The victorians used to drink tea to fill their stomachs in between meals. (Or at least that’s the working theory I have read.) But we’re talking super budget here. So forget the tea and grab a citrus fruit instead! 1 small slice can actually work well for a quite large teapot full of hot water. This combination is said to work well for the metabolism. It also keeps you feeling ‘full’ so you aren’t hungry constantly.
  • Grab that bag of mandarin’s instead! Mandarin’s are affordable, and research has shown that the family of fruits (orange, mandarin, satsuma) when eaten will quieten the craving for sugar. So if you’re staring at that chocolate bar, grab some mandarin instead. It costs less and will last you days longer.
  • Don’t feel pressured to purchase the specialty items. I have read everywhere that I need coconut oil, some kind of root powder, seed powder, special…. everything! Said items are also accompanied by a rather large price tag – one that could surely cover half your food shopping expenses. So just don’t do it. It really is not going to make such a big difference. You either lose the weight, or you don’t.
  • Step away from the protein bars! Protein bars and shakes are just…marketing, really. Yet another big price tag for an item that really doesn’t help so much and contains tons of sugars & preservatives.
  • Take it easy. You are not the only person trying to figure out how to make it all work. If you are stressing quite badly, just make yourself some popcorn, sit down, pig out and try to forget about the world for awhile!

I do hope at least some of these tips help you to save some money at the food market.  If you have any suggestions of your own to add to this list, please share them!

Thank you for reading!

-Mliae


*Photo sourced via Pixabay

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Random Factoids 14.02.2019

‘Clinophobia is the fear of beds.’

 

Hmmm…I’m not thinking that makes for a comfortable living situation.

-Mliae

*Fact sourced via Fun Funny Facts

Mix & Match

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Guest Post: Best US Cities for Europeans

Moving from Europe to the US usually feels like moving to a different planet. People who grew up in Europe have a specific lifestyle, and there are some things that will suit them in America, and some things that will not. Finding the perfect place across the ocean for people from the old continent is a real challenge. An ideal city would have to be just enough American to intrigue you, with a pinch of Europe so that it feels like home. We have done a research and tried to figure out which would be the best US cities for Europeans.

Before you hit the road

You should be really excited about this amazing new chapter of your life. Although culture shock will be big, moving to the US is an experience that will teach you so much. Not to mention a job market that is much wider than the one in Europe and really gives you an opportunity to build a carrier and make an impact. Before you hit the road, make sure that you have all the technical issues under control. You need dependable long distance movers to take care of your documents, regulations and safe transfer of your belongings. But try to travel light. You will certainly do a lot of shopping in your new city, so there is no need to bring your entire household. Try to find storage units in your area before you move so you can bring only the necessary things with you. This way, your relocation will be cheaper and you will have more space for the new things you will buy.

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The city of Pella in Iowa gives you the feeling you are in the Netherlands.

Kansas City – Spain in the middle of the US

Kansas City has that amazing Spanish ambiance. Along with a great number of amenities and job opportunities, Europeans can find a better life here without feeling homesick. Its residential neighborhood and shopping district were architecturally designed to mimic the city of Seville. You will enjoy its vivid architecture. The towers, ornate tile roofs, and sprawling courtyards give you the feeling that you are in Spain while having all the benefits Americans have. In your spare time, you can go for a romantic gondola ride on Brush Creek or take a horse and carriage ride, which feels a little like New York as well, so everyone will find something for themselves. Walking through Kansas City, you will see street performers and hear the music that will lend further authenticity to the place.

It’s a small town, but has a lot to offer. There is a wide variety of places where you can eat, drink, have fun and, of course, work. And don’t forget to go shopping and enjoy local January sales. You can actually order tapas plates basically everywhere you go. And when you are really hungry, remember you are in BBQ country.

Pella, Iowa, or maybe the Netherlands?

This beautiful city in Marion County, Iowa was founded by immigrants from the Netherlands, which explains its scenery. It sits forty miles southeast of Des Moines and it is the home of Central College, as well as several manufacturing companies, such as Pella Corporation and Vermeer Manufacturing Company. Not many people know about this hidden gem – one of the best US cities for Europeans. Its Dutch-style architecture lines the streets giving the impression you are in the middle of Amsterdam. The famous windmill called Vermeer Mill is located next to Central Park, and it’s the largest structure of its style in the United States. You can spend a night in the Royal Amsterdam Hotel, preferably in May, when their Tulip Time festival takes place. During this festival, the streets are flooded with traditional Dutch attire, food, dancing, parades, and, of course, dozens of tulips. Don’t miss to stop by the Vander Ploeg for a cream horn and some Dutch apple bread.

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Ride the famous San Francisco cable car.

San Francisco, the city Europeans will love

‘’If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair’’ says the song. Do you know why? It’s because San Francisco is where the hippie movement started back in the 1960’s. In many neighborhoods, such as Haight Ashbury, you can still feel that hippie atmosphere. And this is just one of the faces this city has. Its residents like to say that it has something for everybody. In some of the huge skyscrapers of its business downtown, called the Financial district, you can find some job opportunities for yourself. Silicon Valley is famous for its thriving tech industry and enormous companies that are growing and hiring more and more people every year. Do you like to walk or jog? You can do that for hours along the famous Embarcadero Street and enjoy the ocean view. And if you are a real outdoor enthusiast, you will be glad to hear that you can spend an entire day in Golden Gate Park, and still not see all of it.

Everybody’s favorite city

There are so many different neighborhoods that offer so much diversity that you get the impression they are small towns. China and Japan town, Castro district and Central Market, Marina, Fisherman’s Warf and North Beach are just some of San Francisco neighborhoods. And when you want to grab a bite, you can find anything from vegan sushi to burgers, from Indian to Italian food, and everything else you can imagine. I think you are starting to get why San Francisco is one of the best cities for Europeans. Most importantly, its diversity will make you feel at home in the blink of an eye.

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When in NYC, you can accomplish anything.

New York, one of the best US cities for Europeans

The main reason for moving to another city, country or continent is usually the desire to improve the quality of life. Therefore, when Europeans move to NYC, they are mostly looking for a better life. New York is a unique combination of the economic strength of the USA and the biggest ethnic diversity in the world. And here are some reasons that make NYC one of the best US cities for Europeans.

  • A huge job market – the best companies worldwide have their offices in NYC.
  • The most diverse cultural, sports and art scene.
  • Neighborhoods for all tastes – from peaceful to urban, with houses or condos.
  • An exceptional transportation system.
  • Lots of free ways to have fun.

But probably the most important reason why people come to NYC is the feeling that you can accomplish anything. And where everything is possible, dreams are coming true! Maybe the Big Apple is not just one of the best US cities for Europeans, maybe it’s the best for everybody.

 
UrbanStems

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Deal Alert: HMA

Hello there,

As you know, I don’t usually post about purchasing. Software, especially that which is expensive, will be shared when I can manage to get a deep discount. I know that there are a lot of people out there using VPN’s so I thought I would for sure share this promo deal.

So here’s the deal: Hide My Ass VPN software is offering 75% off to my followers. They are shared according to currency below!

Hide My Ass VPN is offering a 75% off a 36 month subscription.

HideMyAss! VPN 75% off   for my followers! (This is for the USD crowd)

Privacy Day discount for my followers! (This is for the Euro crowd)

You’re welcome 🙂

-Mliae

*Feature photo sourced via Pixabay


Online Protection

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Getting To Know You 12.05.2019

If you could make any TV show or movie show on your Network of choice, what would it be?

My answer: ‘Glitch’ – through season 5!

-Mliae

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Sooo…Magazines.

This month, I set a challenge for myself to do a bit of a clean-out. Magazines (leafs) are being found in crazy numbers here. This seems to be difficult for me to put in the bin, so I thought a small rant might be OK.

I used to love reading magazines. I would thirst for it. People would send me the leafs from overseas. I wanted to read about the newest fashion. Try the newest recipes. Contort myself according to the most lust-worthy exercises. Read about the glam travel destinations and see if I could get there myself. But then….. oh then…. the marketing came.

Now I understand that any publication (yours truly included) must pay the bills. But there was a tipping point. A point where 80% of the publication was advertisement. This happened quite trickily. For awhile, the fashion ads were incorporated into the newest fashion trends. We all knew it was advertisement, but loved looking at the photos nonetheless. However now, its just ad after ad after ad. Why should I pay 10€ to look at commercials? I can see them for free every where I go. As a matter of fact, I cannot get away from them!

So it seems to me that alas, magazines have had their heyday also and are now a thing of the past. So sad….

Is it just me?

-Mliae

* Feature photo sourced via Pixabay


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