Inspiration

I have a confession to make. Actually two of them but one is larger than the other.

1) I own a very large, very bright but very cozy red housecoat.
2) I seem to write the best blog posts in the middle of my work day. Good thing my boss doesn’t tend to read them.
Back to point number 1. I purchased said housecoat back when I broke my arm many moons ago as a practical item because it was easy to pull over myself and my cast with one hand so I would be cozy while living in basically the arctic at the time of the break. Then some how the red housecoat has traveled with me to each home since then and I find myself not sure how I would cope without it.
Now, let me explain how horrible this housecoat really is. It is so ugly that often when new guest comes over I will actually take it out from behind my bathroom door and hang it up in my closet out of sight. So, if you have been to my house and seen said housecoat that can only mean that I’ve allowed you into my inner circle of peeps and let down my ugly housecoat wall.
I realized how bad it was sometime ago and it was at the same time that I decided to sew my own lighter housecoat for the summer months (see blog post here). This I also would help to wean me off of my horrible red fluffy thing….this was a fail and I went straight back to the red one. Love the new one even more than ugly red but can’t seem to bring myself to make the switch. Upside: New housecoat was recently given some nice compliments.
New Housecoat: 1 Ugly Red: A Million.
I found the lace in the photo below during the Honest Ed’s Fabricland closing sale and just blurted out a random length because I knew I needed it in my life.
Enter: Sexy Housecoat Project
I’ve started to get comfortable with making patterns and then altering them as I go to turn them into what I really want which I find to be a great trait and is coming in handy. So, I’m now on the hunt for the perfect fabric to go with the lace and the perfect pattern in which I can make this inspiration come to life.
Stay tuned for the fate of ugly red.
(Project Inspiration Photo from Pinterest)

I read this thing online a little while back before the concussion that talked comfort within the home and how important that it is for us to observe and strive for in our lives. Reading it I first thought “oh great, something else that I have to try to work into my day to day…” but the more I read the article I realized that it was something I already did without noticing it. It was when I would light a nice smelling candle after the house is all clean and take to my couch with a book and a tea. It would be that feeling of crawling into a cozy bed in a cozy home after a cold night at the barn. It’s also something that I’ve been leaving behind a little over this past month as I work to get back to the me prior the concussion.  The very busy, always running, always fitting a million things into my day and doing it all well me. I miss her and am very glad that she is back but a call from my concussion clinic today reminded me to get back to slowing down is just as important.

The concussion is slowly trying to make a bit of a come-back which I simply am not allowing so instead on Sunday morning of this past weekend I simply curled up on my couch in my giant red cozy housecoat, pilled on two blankets, grabbed a cup of coffee and my book and just….read. With no interruptions and no one bothering me. I just read my book and relaxed with a tummy full of banana and chocolate pancakes. It was a little strange but felt oh so good. Self-care people, it’s a real thing that is important to keep in mind.

I have to remember also to take the time to enjoy the little things and the quiet time because something tells me that this summer is going to be full of late nights on the water, long horse show days and busy working away at my 9-5. In between all of that I have to make sure to take time to get back to that comfort feel.

So this brings me to writing this blog post in the middle of my work day as I’m mentally planning an evening at home of getting back to slowing down. I believe the blog post writing is included as a slowing down activity much like sewing and knitting are. Something that I would probably rather do but isn’t included is flying around a .9m jumper course with Pedro (oh yeah…I jump horses around courses when I’m not at work).

So tonight you will be able to find me in my kitchen baking lemon and blue berry hand pies while drinking tea and listening to the acoustic soundtrack from Grey’s Anatomy Season 13. I would also say that I’ll turn my phone off but that would never happen.

Moral of the story: Don’t forget about the little things.

Image: http://emilyleyblog.com/

Recipe: https://vanillaandbean.com/blueberry-lemon-curd-hand-pies/

As you may know if you’ve read the blog before but this page used to be titled “Adventures”. But since my dream last year of continuing my world traveling has come to a bit of a stop for the time being I’ve decided to switch things up and make a place within the site that allows me to share with you the things that inspire me both in life and in my projects. I’m always taking Instagram screenshots, photos or finding images on Pinterest that inspire me to want to create.

This page may be the most updated page on the site so it’s a place to check back and see what I’ve been into that week in addition to the new projects that will be posted through-out the site. I apologize in advance if this page simply becomes a page full of photos of Kate Middleton and talking about how amazing she looks all the time. That might happen. I may already have a large amount of her photos pinned on my boards.

I’ll be sure to post photos of home inspiration and life inspiration as well just to keep things interesting. Which means that yes, this page may become a list of inspirational quotes and photos of Kate. What can I say…it’s just how I roll.

Image from http://brepurposed.porch.com/ and found on Pinterest.

 

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As a follow-up to my trip to both Ireland and Scotland I wanted to share with you some of the top tips I came home with about traveling alone.

1) Do your homework and Google walk it. My first morning when I arrived in Ireland went so smoothly because I had researched their Leap card transit fare system ahead of time and had written down what bus to take and what stop to get off at. This was very helpful at 6:00 in the morning Dublin time and took the guess work out of it. I also had Google walked the area a little online before the trip so I knew I was walking the right way.
2) Pack light and take Soak travel packs. I’m not really a heavy packer but I’m not a light one either. Take clothes that you can spend the day in and you can layer up when the weather is cool. My Ireland bus trip day I took a jacket, big sweater, scarf, long sleeved, yoga pants and running shoes. Seems like a lot but the bus was warm and outside was freezing so I felt comfortable through-out the day. I was lucky to do laundry at my friends house in Scotland but if you can’t then take some Soak travel packs with you. It was easy for me to wash a sweater in my BnB bathroom sink so it was clean for my flight home.
3) Be prepared for the flights. I sat next to a girl on the way to Dublin that said she didn’t think about it being an overnight flight. But there I was with blow-up next pillow, ear plugs, big scarf and eye mask prepared to try to sleep. I even brought some cozy socks that I was very thankful for when the plane got chilly.
4) Have plans but be open to new plans. A couple of times I had to change my plans for transit reasons. Both times I was able to just figure it out and roll with the change. When traveling alone it’s nice to have the option to make the changes but you do want a plan to try to stick with. Know what you want to see in each city but don’t put them in any order.
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5) Visit the tourism office. These people know the city you are in and they will load you up with tips, events and maps at no charge. This allows also a person traveling alone to chat with someone about the options and work out what would be the best use of time. In Dublin they were able to call and book my pub tour for me without me having to call long distance.
6) Sign up for group tours and be open  to chatting with people. I can’t stress this point enough if you are traveling alone. I met some great people this way with simply asking “so where are you from?”. See if you can hear them speaking English first and then you know that there is a good chance you can make a new friend. Doing this made me feel like I was never actually traveling alone.
7) Air BnB it. This would probably be the smartest thing that I did. Staying in two amazing homes made each day feel like I was going home instead of to a stuffy hotel.  I would get a chance to tell someone about my day or visit with other guests over breakfast. My Dublin BnB felt like home when I stayed there the second time around which made the last couple days so relaxing.
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8) Pick your splurge items and book far in advance. I booked my trip 4 months before I actually took it which means I don’t come home to a big bill at the end of my trip because it was paid for months ago. Also pick a bit ahead of time what you want to spend money on. Maybe it’s lots of pricy handmade yarn or clothing. When I booked it I went for the first class meal extra on my flight home which arrived before anyone else and was so filling! Even came with a little bottle of wine and chocolate.
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9) Take a backpack. Each day either the night before or in the morning I would re-evaluate what was in my day pack and what I would need with me for the day. Always my iPad, passport, wallet and book. The book came in handy when eating alone and reading while eating allowed myself to have some nice long relaxing meals.
10) Write down what you saw before you leave so you don’t forget. Because of the 7 hour flight I actually wrote this whole travel series while on the plane home so I didn’t leave anything out. I made a summary the day prior during my long lunch in Dublin of everywhere I had been and on what days. Will make it easier when I get home and I’m showing my photos to friends and family.
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If you have any specific questions don’t hesitate to ask and you can always reach me via social media or contactus@betweenfriendsfibreandthread.ca
Safe travels!!

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Eat, Sleep, Serendipity – Scotland!

As mentioned previously in my post about Ireland I traveled to both Ireland and Scotland on one trip but had so much to share that I’ve broken it down into three posts. One about Ireland, one about Scotland and one on travel tips to these amazing countries and tips on traveling alone.

I arrived in Scotland straight from Dublin with a bit of a rough start. The people I found to not be as friendly as Ireland but I was very thankful for a wonderful girl working at the Scotland tourism desk who was able to help me find my way to Stirling after my car rental fell through. I was so thrilled that I made it to my BnB in Stirling in one piece that I simply dropped my heavy backpack and headed to Tescos for much needed refreshments.

My evening walk allowed me to slow down and see now amazing the architecture in the Scotland town was. I was hopeful that my time in Scotland would go much smoother than the day.

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I spent the next couple of days exploring Stirling on foot and traveling to Glasgow for an afternoon. The weather wasn’t in my favour for my day in Glasgow but it didn’t stop me from taking in a museum and exploring the most amazing little vintage store off the beaten path.

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I am very lucky to have a wonderful friend who lives in Dundee and my remaining days in Scotland were spent with her catching up over some good food and drink while walking along the beach in St. Andrews.  St. Andrews just took my breath away with the amazing buildings, walk ways, shops and the beach. Nothing is better than a walk on the beach with an old friend dreaming about the future. If you are ever in the area I strongly suggest stopping in at Cromars for fish and chips (or a fish supper as they call it) and eat it down by the sea or out on their patio. Trust me – it is worth the wait!

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I didn’t leave Scotland without a good yarn hall from Fluph which is a small shop in Dundee that had a great selection of local yarns to pick from. Before I knew it I was back on the train and back to Dublin for my final two nights.

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As a wrap it was a truly an amazing trip with some surprises that even I couldn’t of predicted to of happen. It was a great way to start the year of turning 30 and I’m heading home with plans to return soon and explore even more. As someone that lives in a busy city this trip was a great way to escape it for a short while.

Because the trip went off without any big problems or concerns I thought I would share with you all some of my own travel tips. As I was alone for most of the trip there will be some great tips on traveling alone!

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Eat, Drink, Serendipity – A Trip to Ireland

I have a big birthday that it approaching faster than I would like it to. But I guess they do say that being 30 is a wonderful thing! I’ve actually felt 30 for some time but I have a feeling that when its official I might wish for another couple years first. I’m a big fan at giving myself some type of birthday gift each year. It ranges from a new top to a spa treatment but this year it had to be big. So at the end of April I boarded a plane and headed off to Ireland and Scotland via an overnight flight straight from Toronto to Dublin.  Because the trip covered two countries I’m going to cover the trip in two posts so I can properly share my amazing trip here. I also have so many tips for traveling alone and to these two countries that I’ll be putting up a post to share this with you all very soon.

Ireland took my breath away. From the first steps off the airport bus and down a street towards my BnB I was in love. I arrived at 5:30 in the morning but I wouldn’t of had it any other way. I was able to take in Dublin before the pubs opened and the streets got busy with people. My BnB host was there with open arms to greet me at 8:00 that morning Dublin time.

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Now I come from a family that when we travel we don’t nap, or consider napping. You can sleep when you get home – my mom says (and reminded me of during this trip via text). So within the first two days I cover almost all the sites of Dublin including some wondering, getting slightly lost, a yarn store and a musical pub tour through-out Temple Bar area.

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The people of Dublin are so lovely and friendly. Everywhere I went I was greeted with people that were up for a bit of a chat and so welcoming into their shops and restaurants. The energy there in the city center (or town as the locals call it) is so alive and exciting. You can feel the history of the place at almost every turn whether it be down a busy street or a quiet small park.

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My original trip plan had included a drive from Dublin up the coast to Belfast. I wanted to get lost in thought down a country road with stone walls on either side. But sadly the cost and hassle of the rental car out weighted the dream so instead I booked myself on a full day bus tour that would curve my craving for the Irish countryside.

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The bus tour day was outstanding!! The day was planned to include the Titanic museum in Belfast, a drive along the coast to Giants Causeway and a walk across the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. Due to weather the rope bridge was substituted with a whiskey tasting which no one on the bus minded. Then very early in the morning of the bus trip the day got even better. Sitting right next to me sat three people from Ontario. They weren’t only just from Ontario but we’re good friends with some off my good friends. It was such a small world moment and truly a moment of serendipity. The people we met along the 13 hour bus day are people that I hope to run into again soon. This day had me laughing like I hadn’t done in ages and a smile on my face for the whole long day. The tour was outstanding and I’ve included some info about taking a group tour in my travel tips post. I can’t guarantee that you will sit next to someone you would of walked past in the halls of a college 7 years previously but I also now can not say that you won’t!

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The following day I left for Scotland but I could of stayed in Ireland the whole trip. I loved it so much that I was a little trilled that because of Scotland train times I would be able to spend two more nights in Dublin before flying back to Canada.

I was so happy to be going back to Dublin because there is something about visiting a city where you just know where you are going without a map and you feel more like a local than a tourist. My last day of course had a bit off shopping which included the wonderful yarn store This is Knit which if you go into you then must go to Counter Culture which is located within the same building for some lunch. I was lucky to pick up some of the nicest hand dyed sock yarn at the shop that will take a special sock pattern to knit up for myself.

Ireland – thank you for everything and I will be back and very soon!