Topics I Won't Blog About

Wednesday, April 8, 2015 | Stamp in My Passport| | 5 Comments

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Sorry for the radio silence, but it's been one of those time when I've been at a loss for blog content. And the longer I go without writing a post, the more I convince myself that I will never write another post again. So instead of coming up with topics to write about, here is a list of things you will never find on Stamp in My Passport. I stole the idea from Kasi (who was also spending more time on Netflix than blogging). 

1. Les Enfants You do not have to fear this space turning into a "mommy blog" for an extremely long time. Until that time comes, I will continue to share photos of Dixie instead. New moms may not appreciate this comparison, but from what I know about infants, it's not much different than taking care of a puppy. Eat, sleep, go to the bathroom, wake up at all hours of the night, and then once they start moving around, will eat/put in their mouth anything that is left on the floor.

2. #OOTD I have an array of pencil skirt/cardigan/flowy top/flats combinations that are rotated fairly frequently by day at work and by night and weekend, you will find me in skinny jeans and a striped tee. And lather, rinse, repeat. Despite the copious amount of items sitting in virtual shopping carts across the Internet, I rarely venture out of my style comfort zone. I know what looks good on me and I'm going to stick to it. And while it may make me feel good, it would be quite dull on the blog day in and day out.

3. Negative comments, whether about fellow bloggers or people I know This goes for life in general, but especially on the web, where words last for eternity and can never be taken back. Blogging is a community to build others up, not tear them down. And as much as I would love to think that no one I know in real life reads this space, it does happen, and sometimes I have to remember that this is not simply a cathartic outlet to release all of my thoughts.

4. Hair and makeup tutorials I can count on a single hand the number of ways I wear my hair. I am always skeptical of tutorial videos that are sped-up to show you a braided up-do in under two minutes.

5. Experiences of a small business owner I love how many bloggers have gone on to start small businesses because they don't feel satisfied unless they are doing something that they absolutely love and can call the shots. I wish you all the best! It takes a great amount of courage to not only identify your strengths and passions, but to take a leap of faith and pursue them. 

6. Work Going along with not sharing small business advice, I also do not need my blog to promote my 9-5 job. It can take some time for bloggers to find a balance between sharing their online life and their real life. In most cases, sharing details about your employment crosses that line. 

7. Financial advice I don't pretend to have any secrets on how to pay off your student loans, or the fastest way to save up an emergency fund.You won't find financial advice here, but I would encourage you to seek out twenty-somethings who have the knowledge and are also in the same stage of life as you, whether in their first post-grad job or buying their first  home. 


Friday, April 3, 2015 | Stamp in My Passport| | 3 Comments

Friday, April 3, 2015

It's time to don your new spring dress, get your nails done and wear your white jeans again without feeling like a walking faux pas. I hope you enjoy the Easter weekend with friends, family and loved ones!

I love all of these bags from Toms and I don't know if I could pick just one. Fran perfectly pairs them with an outfit for different activities so I can justify purchasing multiple. 

Grand Central is more than just a stopping point on your way to NYC, it is a mini-destination in itself. Plus, I can't get enough of Meg's bag. 

Can you tell a running theme that I've been on the hunt for a new tote? Currently I have my eye on this one or this one.

This tutorial on how to change your blog's images without using a photo editor is a game changer. I need to go back through the archives and clean up my old posts before I knew the correct width for photos and thought the extra-large default setting was good enough. 

Kasi read my mind with her post on topics she won't blog about, including fashion, recipes and DIY projects. It can be difficult to find a niche to blog about that fits with your interests and strengths. Once you can accept the fact that just becuase other bloggers are sharing outfit of the day posts or a new recipe they created for dinner last night, doesn't mean you have to. 

Have you seen the Buzzfeed article about the guy whose phone was stolen, ended up in China and he was able to track down the guy who bought his phone? They are now best friends and minor celebs in China. Such a small world.

6 Habits of a Coffee Lover

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 | Stamp in My Passport| | 2 Comments

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

You measure coffee in pots, not cups. A Keurig is not economically practical for your coffee needs and the phrase "single serving" should not be limited to 12 ounces of liquid energy.

Picking your favorite drink is near impossible. In the morning, you may crave iced coffee or an Americano, but by lunchtime and your afternoon pick-me-up a latte may be more of your taste. And coffee with desert is not even a question. There is no better pairing.

Your kitchen counter is cluttered with coffee makers. Traditional, french press, pour over, chemex, kettles you name it you have it and they are proudly lining your kitchen counters. Perhaps you might go so far as to say that they are practical decorative artwork for your kitchen.

You are on a first name basis with baristas. Especially if you study or work from a coffeeshop on a regular basis, you will quickly become familiar (or even friends) with the baristas working around that time. Bonus points if they memorize your drink order or take an extra few moments creating insta-worthy latte art.

An entire cabinet is dedicated to your collection of mugs and travel tumblers. Some collect purses, for some it's shoes, but for you it's mugs. You can't resist. Plus, you need multiple travel mugs on the off-chance you accidentaly leave one at work.

Speaking of mugs, they are a representation of all of the places you have been to. Who needs magnets, t-shirts, pens or throw blankets to remind them of vacations past? You can also justify the purchase since you will use them on a daily basis. Plus, they are a fun conversation starter when you have people over.

If you enjoyed this list, you will love my "What your Starbucks drink says about you" list. (shameless plug)

Friday Favorites: Netflix Queue

Friday, March 27, 2015 | Stamp in My Passport| | 5 Comments

Friday, March 27, 2015

Once you have finished season three of House of Cards you might be left with a void of what to watch next on Netflix, especially as spring finales are approaching. Here are a few of the movies and TV shows waiting in my Netflix queue.

Magic Beyond Words Lifetime (as they always do) dramatizes the struggle J.K. Rowling went through bringing the wizarding world of Harry Potter to life. Personally, I love Lifetime's dramatizations of real life events (here's to you Tot Mom and Jodi Arias) and I love Harry Potter, so I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I will love this. But I can understand if it's not everyone's cup of butter beer. 

Portlandia The sketch comedy starring Fred Armised and Carrie Brownstein in 99 percent of the roles is sure to make you forget you have spent an entire afternoon or night on the couch. This is a must watch for any SNL fans.

One Day Starring Ann Hathaway and Jim Sturgess, this romantic film follows the lives of a couple each year on the anniversary of the day they met to see where they are, sometimes together and sometimes apart. Most romantic movies spend the majority of the time following a couple as they grow closer together, then there is a major conflict which they must overcome to find each other again. This is the complete opposite, which is refreshing.

Bletchley Circle For fans of all BBC and Masterpiece Classic shows. Set in the 1950s, this show follows a group of women who served in London's wartime code breaking center who must now track down a serial killer.

An Idiot Abroad Samantha recommended this one. It is a travel documentary that follows Karl Pilkington as he visits the New Seven Wonders of the World and focuses on his reactions to cultural indiosyncracies in all of the places he visits. Needless to say, it's super awkward and I love it.

Tiger Eyes This takes me back to middle school when I was in my Judy Blume phase. Also, Willa Holland (aka the troubled younger sister of Marissa Cooper) stars as Davey. It's your standard coming-of-age story that will bring back memories of flying through Here's to You Rachel Robinson, Just as Long as We're Together and Are You There God? It's Me Margaret. 

What's in your Netflix queue?

More Than Just For Selfies

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 | Stamp in My Passport| , , | 6 Comments

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Part of packing light means that your phone truly becomes multi-functional. Not only does it continue to be your lifeline to friends and family, but it's also your boarding pass, in-flight entertainment, camera, map, translator and guide to the best restaurants in town. Since your phone is an extension of you, it's important to carry a portable charger in the likely event that the battery dies in the middle of the day when you are nowhere near an electrical outlet.

Tripomatic I just discovered Tripomatic last week, but I know that it's going to be crucial for creating itineraries for European vacations. Not only does it have city maps (unfortunately, to gain offline access, you have to pay), but it also contains a list of all of the most popular attractions that you can add to your itinerary and then switch around based on proximity to each other. They also have a whole slew of guided tours and activities that you can add to your trip if you would like a little bit more context and explanation about what you are looking at. After taking two coach day tours in Scotland and Ireland, I highly recommend them as a way to see and learn a lot without having to do a lot of planning.

TripIt TripIt is a must have for all vacations, whether domestic or abroad. As you receive confirmation emails for flights, hotels, attractions, rental cars, etc. forward them to TripIt to keep them all in one place. Although I'm still one of those people who will keep a paper copy of reservations in a folder, it's nice to know that I'll only have to dig through a mountain of paperwork as a last resort.

Rick Steves Audio Europe Too cheap to pay for a city walking or bus tour? Say what you will about Rick Steves, but he has provided free offline walking tours of all of Europe's major cities that last between 1-2 hours. I haven't listened through any yet, but I can't imagine that it could be any worse than aimlessly wandering around admiring the architecture or people watching and that's it.

Google Flights Although not a downloadable app, I'm such a fan of searching flights on Google rather than Kayak. The interface is much more clean and uncluttered. The fastest and cheapest flights are grouped at the top of the list depending on what matters most to you. It is also easy to compare prices month to month if you are extremely about your dates of travel. Plus, once you have selected an itinerary, you can save it to track the price as well as email it to friends and family so you can all rest easy knowing you are all booking the same flight.

CityMaps2Go Paper maps are a thing of the past. Download the maps you will need before you depart and have offline access. It's a game changer. 

Duolingo I like the repetitive nature of Duolingo and how it turns language learning into a game and combines writing, listening and speaking the language to get a better feel for it. Don't expect to become fluent through this system, but you will be able to navigate the street, and most importantly a menu, by the time you are halfway through. 


Saturday, March 21, 2015 | Stamp in My Passport| | 3 Comments

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Is it just me, or does 2015 feel like it breezing by quicker than usual? It is the first weekend of spring, and before I know it I will be exploring the Bavarian Alps. As a dreamer and an over-planner, I tend to have a problem with living in the moment and enjoying life as it comes. Anyone else suffer from this? Any helpful suggestions? 

According to this article, your two most productive hours of the day could be the two after you first wake up, which most of us spend checking email or catching up on the news/Twitter.

Eight common sleep myths that can affect your slumber. College taught me that you cannot in fact make up a week's worth of lost sleep on the weekend.

I've wanted to visit Kiawah Island, SC since the HGTV Dream Home was there several years ago. Natalie has a complete guide of where to stay, what to do, where to eat, and most importantly how to get to the remote barrier island. I was loving the post until I saw the up close and personal photo of a gator and then rethought the trip (gators are something I want to get away from in Florida).

If I ever visit Amsterdam, I would want to time the trip with the annual tulip festival. The combination of walking through thousands of blooming flowers with a waffle or strawberries and cream in hand has my name written all over it.

Although I don't have a studio, I can relate to all of these reasons to love living in a small space. It's safe to say that no matter how large your home is, you will find a way to fill it and will always complain about not having enough storage. Having a smaller space forces you to to constantly clean out closets and rethink purchases before you buy them.

It's no secret that I think doxies are the best dog breed by far. And I believe that Dixie should have made this list of cutest doxies, along with Noodle in the City (which is probably my favorite Instagram account to be honest.)

High school and college was spent watching (and rewatching again and again) Laguna Beach and The Hills. The scripted reality show still left me with lot of important questions that must be answered. Like did Spencer have the landlord's permission to paint the graffiti mural on the wall? And how many coats of paint did it take Heidi to paint over it?

Tourist in Your Hometown: St. John's, Newfoundland

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 | Stamp in My Passport| | 1 Comment

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Hi there! We’re Elizabeth and Luke and we blog about our weekend adventures and travels over at Something Saturdays. The premise behind Something Saturdays is to make the most of our weekends by doing something new every Saturday, whether that means exploring things in our local area or travelling abroad. We met while we were both working in the Netherlands, but Elizabeth is from St. John’s, Newfoundland, where we currently live, and Luke is originally from Bath, UK. We have lived together in St. John’s for two years now, and during that time we have done our fair share of exploring, attending festivals and community events, learning new skills, and trying out new things.

St. John’s is the largest city on the island of Newfoundland and is located on the east coast. When you visit St. John’s, you should first head over to Signal Hill, Cape Spear (the most easterly point in North America!), and The Rooms for great views and to get your bearings. 

It is worth wandering around the downtown area among the houses of Jellybean Row and take in a Foodie Tour to get exposure to local history and cuisine.

Quidi Vidi is a small, picturesque fishing village within the boundaries of the city that is worth visiting, and don't forget to go to the street with the most pubs and bars per capita of any street in North America, George Street. While you’re on George Street, don’t forget to get Screeched in! It's a "ceremony" to become an Honorary Newfoundlander and is a must-do for anyone visiting the island. There's nothing wrong with doing a shot of Screech, kissing a cod, and repeating some Newfie words you don't understand, right? 

There are many trails around the province that take hikers along the rugged shoreline, with the 265 km East Coast Trail being the longest. The ECT is broken into sections, with the La Manche Village Path, Stiles Cove Path, and the Sugarloaf Path being some of our favourites that are close to the city. The Skirwink Trail is another trail not to be missed and is located along the cliffs near Trinity, and Gros Morne offers a host of hiking trails on the west coast of Newfoundland. 

Newfoundland isn't overly developed, meaning that there is lots of room for wildlife. Whale watching is common in the spring/summer and you can usually also sea kayak in the same areas. The whale watching tours in Bay Bulls also take you to the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve which is home to North America's largest Atlantic Puffin colony, among other sea birds. On the island of Newfoundland itself, there are more moose than people and it isn't uncommon to come across them when you're driving along the highway.

Interested in seeing icebergs? There's no guarantee you'll see an iceberg on your visit to Newfoundland, but the best time of year is late spring or early summer (May/June). Last year was a great year for them and we managed to see quite a few. If you want to see them, you'll probably have to get out of St. John's (although we had some huge ones just outside of St. John's harbour last year), with Twillingate being a top spot for iceberg-viewing. The best way to find out where the icebergs are at any given time is on Iceberg Finder. It is incredibly useful!

Follow along our with our Newfoundland adventures on Bloglovin, Twitter, and Trover.

We’re also planning a couple of international trips in the next two months to Mexico and Ireland, so stay tuned!