Wednesday, March 14, 2018

{Recipes}: Vegan Sweet Potato Gnocci


I decided to start posting the recipes I make, here on my blog! Unless stated, these are not my recipes, and I will include the links. I went Vegan (again) at the start of the year, and since then I have been experimenting with some great recipes that I find on Instagram and other sites. I will showcase them here!

Below is a yummy 2 ingredient recipe from the website Savory Tooth for Sweet Potato Gnocci. I added some extra ingredients (onion slices, garlic, and red pepper flakes)  when pan frying the Gnocci in Earth Balance vegan butter. It turned out AMAZING. The taste is phenomenal.






























This recipe was SO easy to make. It took about 10 mins to roll and cut the gnocci pieces, but let me tell you, it was WORTH it. Comment below if you end up making this recipe!

Xoxo,

Natalie

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Weihnachtsmarkt, Gluhwein, German Courses, S N O W!

It's Christmas in Germany! I have officially been in Germany for 3 months now! The weather is amazing, it's snowing almost every week, and the holiday cheer is in the air. I finally have somewhat of a schedule now, which those of you who know me know is very important for me! Monday-Friday is basically the kids time. I have a short break in the morning and then it's kids kids kids until evening. Sometimes I am at home with them, sometimes I bring them to sports, or a friends, or English lessons etc.




Tuesday's and Thursday's I have my German lessons, which I absolutely love! After class sometimes I will hang out in Aschaffenburg where I have my classes. Saturday's and Sunday's I have free, and since I have made new friends up here in Hessen, it's nice to get out and hang out with them.





Lately, I have been hitting up all the Christmas markets. They are awesome vendor filled markets in the middle of the city's town square. Bigger cities like Frankfurt have bigger markets. I actually have found that I like the smaller ones better! They sell German holiday food, desserts and Gluhwein, the traditional German mulled wine. I get the Kinder Punsch, which is Alcohol frei and is SO good! My friend Mariah who doesn't drink either also prefers it.





SO many cookies!!!
St. Nickolaus has visited










I have been making an effort to plan more trips around Europe, and a few of my friends and I are heading to Prague next month. Next week I am headed to Vienna for a friend's concert. I am still obsessed with solo travel, and am staying in a female hostel room for the first time! I will definitely let you all know how it goes.

My next few posts will probably be in the form of a vlog, but I may summarize them here as well. For now, everyone enjoy the holidays!

xoxo,

Natalie

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Ah! It's been a Month and a half since I moved to Germany and I am LOVING it. I absolutely love everything about the city that I live in, and the lifestyle that accompanies it. I have so much to share about my experiences, BUT WAIT.

MORE NEWS.

I am creating a new blog template, which means lots of planning and organizing. Once that is done, everything will hopefully be streamlined and easier to manage. I am hoping to have all of this done by the end of the weekend. In the meantime, take a look at my recent YouTube videos! :) Clicking on the video below should bring you to my channel. Feel free to SUBSCRIBE!!!


Saturday, September 2, 2017

{Traveling Through Scotland}: Tips and experiences!


I recently visited Scotland with a couple of friends. I have some tips and tricks from my visit that might help you!

I started my journey in a little seaside town called Aberdeen, which is on the northern shores of Scotland. It has such a rich history and I really enjoyed my stay while there. There is something so magical about little Scottish villages. I mean, the country's national animal IS the Unicorn after all! No lie!

I did a few fun things while I was in Aberdeen and also found some great travel cheats that I would love to share.

For starters, when you arrive in the UK head over to EE to pick up a sim card for your cell phone. You can find them all over the U.K.  As long as your smartphone is UNLOCKED they can get you a great deal on a prepaid phone plan for your trip. For £15 I have 250 minutes, 450 texts, and 13 GB of Data!!  YES you read that right, 13 GB. I got an upgrade that was available for free. It definitely was needed as my Airbnb didn't have Wifi! With that plan you can also call (not text) to the US. This is definitely the best option, unless you have an international plan. Even with international plans though, service can be sucky (as my friends learned with their phones). It can also be expensive. So why not just get a sim to use for your trip and save money!

I also used a texting/calling app called TextMe to text and call my friends and family who don't have iPhones. It's free, but you need to purchase (via $ or watching videos) credit to make calls. Texting is free though.

Dual laundry machines do NOT dry very well!!! Most people just hang their laundry even if they do have a dryer setting on their machine.

Since I knew I was going to be alone the first week, I had some things I wanted to do that I wouldn't have been able to do if I was with friends, most likely. I wanted to see the movie, Dunkirk which was really great! I also wanted to see what a British grocery store was like. The most different thing I noticed is that they don't refrigerate their eggs here! They keep them on the shelves. I actually completely understand that practice. Americans are some of the only people the keep eggs in the fridge.

I also wanted to go on a tour of Aberdeen. I found one that meets on Saturday's and Sunday's, 12 noon at the Mercat cross (pictured below). The 90 minute walking tour is completely free, but donations are requested after the tour is complete. Our tour guide, Guada was awesome. Side note: the animals at the top used to have wine that would pour out of their mouths in the 17th century. It was pretty much a wine free for all when the fairs would happen. Imagine hundreds of 17th century scots fighting for *free* alcohol. Yeah let that chaos set in.








I also recommend taking the time to look at your transportation options. I purchased a weekly unlimited bus pass for £15 and used that to get around for the 6 days I was there. If I purchased individual tickets it would have been £5 per day there and back. Public transportation there runs on time and very frequently, about every 10-15 minutes.

Image result for first bus aberdeen
via Google

I stayed at the Euro hostel in Glasgow. I will definitely be writing a positive review for them. My room had a bunk for two, however I was solo by request. It is clean, well lit/bright, and modern. The sheets and duvet cover are crisp and clean and the night life here has major potential, had I ventured downstairs to the bar. There were a ton of people 21-30 here, just from what I saw at check in, but I also appreciated that there were older people there too to balance things out. I definitely recommend Euro Hostel. It's pretty much a hotel! I had some friends arriving in Glasgow, so after I went and got them from the airport we all headed back to the hostel we were staying at. The 4 person room wasn't as nice as the 2 person room, not gonna lie! But it was ok for one night.




From there, we went to Edinburgh for Fringe Festival. I would highly recommend visiting if you are in Scotland during August. It was full of street performers, markets with shops, and good food and music, all free. They also have plays and dance performances you can buy tickets for, but we didn't want to, since we were planning on seeing a play in London.






 The festival wheel! It's a huge ferris wheel that lets you see the whole city. Like the London Eye but not as cool :)



Later we headed to Inverness to go Glamping. We were only there for one day, but this Glamping site was awesome. They had lots to do and it was really just a fun location! The bus brought us in and out of the campgrounds and unlike in the US, since we were in the Scottish Highlands, they just drop you wherever you want which is nice! Definitely check out the link I included. The owners were so friendly and accommodating.








Last we stopped in London. I had never been but my friends had both been mulitple times. I wasn't really into the huge tourist scene (Big Ben, Piccadilly etc.), but I wanted to see the market place. I ended up bartering for some great stuff! Some crystals (for a necklace I got in Scotland) and a cute scarf. It was worth the trip. We also took a ride on the London Eye which was AWESOME. I wasn't expecting it to be great, but it exceeded my expectations. The 4D experience before hand is a must see as well, and is included in your ticket. The ticket prices are quite high, but I recommend finding a coupon on the back of the cereal boxes they have in their grocery stores. You can save 50% of the price of 2 tickets which would have been worth it if I had known! Our AirBnB was also really nice.









Let me know if you have any upcoming travels! Although this trip was about my time in Scotland, I am now in Germany! Stick around for updates, and thanks for reading!


Xx

Natalie


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

NEWS! I'm Moving To Germany!!?!?!



You guys! It took FOREVER to upload, but it's finally here!!

Make sure to SUBSCRIBE!! :)





Monday, August 7, 2017

{DIY}: EASIEST Pant Alteration EVER!

Hey guys! Happy Monday! I hope you have had a wonderful weekend. Mine was spent relaxing by the pool and getting some last minute stuff finalized. I also said goodbye to my love my little Moped for the summer. She has been re-homed. Ahhh the life of a Nomad. In a way, living the way that I do has helped me mentally, because I don't hold onto things with such vigor like I used to. I wouldn't call myself an ex-hoarder, but I definitely loved my things and was quite attached. As the years have gone by I have found that I am able to move on WITHOUT all of my things which is very convenient.

Anyways, today I thought I would share a super easy tutorial with you! I purchased a pair of pants from Target's  Knox Rose line. They looked so comfy on my coworker, and I had to have a pair. I owned 1 other pair of pants and I just had a feeling that these would FINALLY work for me! I have the lovely problem of having a smaller waist than my thighs so everything fits perfect in the thigh but is about 2 sizes too big in the waist. After cinching my pants and jeans with a belt for years I gave up and decided to stick with dresses and skirts, and stretchy pants, because the belts holding up my pants began to cause severe stomach pain. I literally haven't worn a pair of jeans since 2014. That's how bad it is. So, as you can see I was delighted when I put this pair on and they FIT SO WELL! They were also incredibly flattering. The only problem was once again they were a bit too big in the waist (which I found out as the day wore on).

I ended up finding an AWESOME no sew fix to altering pants which I had to share. There is a video on You Tube that better explains it, but I will do my best with the pictures I have to explain it here on the blog! Seriously guys, this was so easy that I went out and purchased a second pair in the same size, different color to alter them too.

No Machine Pant Alteration (Waist)

1. Pinch and Fold along the back of the pants and tuck the newly made fold underneath the belt loop.


2. Sew (by hand) the fold down under the belt loop, so that it is not visible, and continue to tuck and sew down toward the pant pocket. I've found that the key here is short tight stitches!!!




3. Sew BACK up the row you have just sewn and sew along the top of the fold to "seal" the crease at the top of the waist. This part is very important because it ensures that the fold remains flat and invisible.


see how flat it ends up being once you have sewn the top?

sew down the opposite side as well.

4. Tuck and sew any loose parts that you see that you want to improve.

It is really THAT easy. Of course, I used black thread, but if you match the colors it is even better. Now this is a quick, reversible no cut no machine fix, which will ensure that if you do need to let the pants back out it is a quick and easy process. It took me less than 10 minutes to complete. It is damn near invisible at first glance; it just appears to be fold going  straight down along the pocket seam. If you are picky about looks, you can do both sides so that it looks even. I didn't care, but note if you only do one side it will leave more space on the other side of the button/zipper which would be noticeable to the wearer (only). Like I said, I didn't care about that part.

I hope this tutorial helps someone!! Please checkout the video if you need additional guidance!


Xoxo,


Natalie

Thursday, July 27, 2017

New Blog Direction!

Hey all you belles, travelers, foodies, and essential oil fans! :)

As you may have noticed, I have been slowly transitioning my blog! For those who have followed this blog over the years, you may remember that it started out as not one, but TWO blogs! One, faith based, and one personal. Well, the faith based blog was deleted due to my URL being stolen from me (GRRR)! I initially had transferred all of the posts to this blog, but have since deleted most of them. I decided that I wanted to keep this blog religion free for the most part. I love my faith but there are certain things that I have posted about in the past that I no longer agree with and I don't feel that it is right to have them publicly displayed, considering I don't agree with them.

ANYWAYS! I have a ton of new ideas and posts coming, as well as a new YouTube vlog channel! You can expect the first video to come out very soon, and there will be a lot of exciting new changes announced! As always, I look forward to hearing from you! If you have any comments or vlog suggestions/ideas shoot me an email: northernbellemn@gmail.com