5 simple ways to be more clever with social media

Do you want to be more clever with social media? I have 5 simple rules to make sure you reap the positive benefits rather than the negative #MINDFLUENCING

Social media can be like a big flood, carrying you away into the distance in the search of all kinds of weird and wonderful things. It can be an amazing adventure that opens up doors to people, places, and cultures from all over the world.

But the same flood can also be exhausting, overpowering, get you lost and eventually pull you under from all the pressure.

We need to start being more clever with social media. Only dead fish swim with the stream…

There are 5 really simple things you can do to maximize the positive aspects of a community online;

1. Only follow accounts that make you feel good. 

If you go on your feed and at any time get a little sting of anxiety or jealousy when looking at a picture or video – UNFOLLOW. Life is too short to be comparing yourself or feeling bad. Once you unfollow an account you don’t have to deal with that feeling in regards to that particular content anymore. Only follow someone when their content truly resonates with you in a positive way.

2. Be 100% authentic in what you are putting out.

It’s really easy to lose yourself in a persona online. It might be fun at first, but eventually, it will lead to pressure and anxiety. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have pretty photos in your feed. As long as you are posting for you, as yourself then you are leading with your heart.

3. Try to post positive things.

Not only will you feel better about what you are putting out in the world, but you will also receive more positive feedback in your comments. Negativity tends to invite negativity, so if you know you are sensitive to any negative feedback, try to stay away from initiating it.

4. Don’t let likes and other stats determine your worth.

It’s easy to see social media as a popularity contest and feel validated when someone likes your photos. However, it swings both ways and once you connect a part of your self-worth to what strangers think of you online, you are on a slippery slope. Our brains tend to mainly focus on the negative, so even if you have only one post that gets less attention than what you wanted, it will affect you in a negative way.

5. Try not to take social media too seriously.

It’s meant to be fun and reality is, a platform could disappear tomorrow. So don’t get too emotionally invested. It’s in the end not real, so treat it as a bit of fun and leave the pressures of perfection and status behind and you will be a lot more clever with social media.

We are living in such a strange time, especially for us who didn’t grow up with social media. Hopefully, in the future, the culture around online content and socials will be both more regulated and less

Do you want to be more clever with social media? I have 5 simple rules to make sure you reap the positive benefits rather than the negative #MINDFLUENCING

Since I really made the effort to follow these 5 simple rules, my whole relationship with social media has truly changed.  I have taken charge of my own experience.

These days the comparison, jealousy, anxiety, and pressure that I at times could feel in the past, completely gone. I use social media in a completely different and much healthier way.

I think at times, all we need to do is stop step away and look at a situation objectively to realize that social media is a tool. It’s the user who decides what that tool will actually produce in the end.

So let’s take responsibility for our own online experience and make sure we are clever with social media. So we won’t lose this valuable, weird and wonderful tool in the future.  

Photo – Roz Alcazar. You can find my outfit here. 

This article is a part of the #MINDFLUENCING campaign I launched in collaboration with Instagram in 2019. You can find other articles I have written on the subject of mindfulness online here. 

 

Wardrobe heroes & the 4 pillars of a sustainable capsule wardrobe

wardrobe heroes - The 4 pillars of a sustainable capsule wardrobe

In my journey going from a crazy clothes-hoarding shopaholic to now being the proud owner of a highly curated timeless sustainable wardrobe. I have learned that the best-balanced wardrobe is based on these 4 pillars;

1. Essentials

The stuff we all need like underwear, socks, t-shirts, jeans, softies… etc.

Basically, the items that might not be all that exciting to buy, but necessary to have*. These are the clothes we will use, abuse and likely have to discard (preferably donate to fabric recycling if possible) at some point. They will get worn and washed a lot, and because of this, they won’t have a particularly good second-hand value and will rarely last us past 3 years of use.

Because of this, I don’t recommend spending a large amount of money on these kinds of basics since they won’t last. You will most likely get a fairly good #PricePerWear out of them if you go for a mid-range price point and focus on quality over designer names.

Essentials are excellent to buy from sustainable brands. It will give you the quality without the designer price tag and as we have to keep on re-buying these items we are supporting an industry that truly needs it. Most sustainable brands have a great selection of basics, so why not find a favorite and stick with it?

Personal examples of great essentials; My t-shirts by Theo + George and basic underwear by Organic Basics. 

(*I don’t include these things in my #OneItemAMonth challenge for this reason.)

Wardrobe heroes - The 4 pillars of a sustainable capsule wardrobe

2. Style-defining items

These are the pieces that shout your name. The signature clothes that you know you will love for years and years to come. Styles that won’t date because they fit you and your personality so well. It’s the jewels in the crown and the items that stand out in your wardrobe.

Since these garments are all about timeless style and personal flair, they are excellent to both buy and sell pre-loved. I would choose a slightly higher price point and make sure to go both for amazing quality, the perfect fit and that little bit of flair. These items are usually future wardrobe heroes.

Personal examples of great style-defining items – My pink Maje leather jacket, the grey Everlane blazer I’m wearing in these photos and my Ida Sjöstedt dresses.

3. Wardrobe heroes

A wardrobe hero is a piece of clothing that you have owned and worn consistently for more than 3 years. A loved and trusted item that you feel great wearing and that is aging well. It can be your favorite leather jacket, that one pair of jeans, a pair of really comfortable sneakers or just that perfect white shirt.

Wardrobe heroes are all about quality, practicality, and fit. The Price Per Wear will be amazing no matter what you paid because you are using these items so much. It’s basically the pieces your entire wardrobe is leaning on to be able to work hard for you.

Personal examples of wardrobe heroes – My black Rag & Bone jeans I’m wearing in these photos and my Burberry trench coat. 

wardrobe heroes - The 4 pillars of a sustainable capsule wardrobe

4. Wardrobe superheroes

You will probably not have many of these in your wardrobe if you are in your 20s, but already 10 years later you should have at least a few. Wardrobe superheroes are items we have owned and used for more than 5 years.

The quality of these pieces has to be exceptional to last. So most likely the price point will be on the higher end. But the price Per Wear will make these items the cheapest in your wardrobe, no matter how much they cost you when you bought them.

Your wardrobe heroes are completely timeless and were never a part of any trend. They stand the test of time and you still love them as much now as you did when you bought them, if not more.

The goal of the perfect sustainable wardrobe is to have more wardrobe heroes and superheroes than style-defining items. Ideally, the latter category will seamlessly morph in heroes with time. The longer we own and use something, the longer the life of the garment and the more integrated the item will be in our personal style.

Personal examples of wardrobe superheroes – My Moncler jacket (11 years), my Chanel bag (13 years) I’m wearing in these photos and my Louis Vuitton bag (20 years).

If you curate your clothing based on the concept of the 4 pillars of a sustainable capsule wardrobe. You will eventually be left with the pure essence of your personal style. Something completely unique and defining only for you and at the same time super sustainable. 

Photos – Rosalind Alcazar

 

5 things to do after you failed to make sure to get back on track

Failure is a part of life, right? Not much comfort when your ego feels like it has been run over by a truck. There are 5 things to do after you failed;

Failure is a part of life, right? Everyone fails and that’s how we learn…bla bla bla. Great stuff in theory, but not much comfort when we feel like our ego has been run over by a garbage truck. 

Truth is, failure is hard. And the more passionate you are about something and harder you have worked for it, the harder you fall.

So at that moment, when all you want to do is to melt into a little puddle on the street, you need a coping mechanism.

There are 5 things to do after you failed;

1. React – Get upset, it’s allowed! But don’t lash out, try to keep it contained to yourself for now. Don’t take any phone calls or answer any emails within the first few hours if you can help it. If you do, your hurt ego will be talking, so wait until you have had some time to go through the emotions before you do anything else.

2. Be kind – Don’t beat yourself up. It won’t do any good. If you made mistakes, you know what they were and you will learn from it. Take a moment and feel sorry for yourself, but keep it brief. 

3. Revisit – Once you have calmed down, it’s very important not to avoid the issue or put a lid on it. Revisit it and make sure that you understand the situation completely. When we get upset, it’s easy to read into things in a different way than if we were thinking more rationally. So make sure you know what’s going on and that you have all the facts.

4. Make a plan – The best way of making yourself feel better and not get stuck in a negative situation is to make a plan. You might not be able to save this particular endeavor, but you can plan the steps to move past it and back on track again. This doesn’t have to be big plans, just a quick 3-step plan you can action in a short time. The most important thing is to not feel stuck.

5. Reward yourself – Failing is a lot harder than succeeding, so if there is any time we need a reward it’s when we have failed well. If you took all the steps above you are already on your way to somewhere better.

Daring to fail is a massive positive and one people don’t do enough of. We are so worried about being seen as a failure that we often freeze and don’t dare to do anything at all.

Thing is, just because we have failed, doesn’t mean we are failures. We just figured out a way that didn’t work. It’s elimination by trying. And only those that keep on trying will eventually find what does work. And if you follow these 5 steps after you failed, you will bounce back pretty quickly.

So what do you say, ready to risk to fail some more? Reach for some big goals? At least now you know what to do after you failed. 

Failure is a part of life, right? Not much comfort when your ego feels like it has been run over by a truck. There are 5 things to do after you failed;

Photo – Roz Alcazar. Blouse by Dea Kudibal (gifted), scarf by Alva Norge (gifted), boots by Marzio Stockholm, trousers by Zara and bag by Chanel. My dog is called Olive. 

 

My #OneItemAMonth in December AND January

My #OneItemAMonth December and January - It's THE perfect neutral color, the cut is both unusual and really flattering. It's collarless, ankle long and with slits on the sides. And best of all, it's a 10th of what the Max Mara coat would have cost me.

…Bad Tess!! I’m terribly behind showing you what I got for my #OneItemAMonth lately. Its blooming February and I have yet to show you what I got in December. Shame on me!

So, to get me caught up a bit, I will show you a two-in-one today. My December item AND my January item. They actually go really nicely together, so why not.

Just so you know, I was planning on going out with a big bang in December and really celebrate a whole year of #OneItemAMonth with a large purchase. I decided almost at the start of the challenge that my December purchase was going to be a Max Mara coat. An investment to say the least.

Max Mara is THE designer for coats. They are nothing short of glorious and I must have tried on at least 20 over the years. They do however come with quite a hefty price tag. The coat I love (cashmere, hood, perfect shade of grey)  is £3400... as much as a Chanel bag or a Rolex!

The thing is, a Chanel bag or a Rolex is forever. Will a cashmere coat really last me as long as a bag in leather or a watch in stainless steel? Probably not.

So even though I stood in the Max Mara shop on Bond Street on my birthday (12th of December, hello Saggis!), coat on, card in hand, I couldn’t do it. My heart wanted the coat, my brain said “nope!”. So I got myself a lovely cashmere hat instead.

I have to say that I was very surprised by my own actions. I had planned this purchase for a while, I had the money and the permission from both myself and the hubby to go ahead.

I blame it all on the #OneItemAMonth Challenge. I looked at the Price Per Wear, versatility and longevity and it didn’t add up.

To say that the hubby looked confused when I turned up to Selfridges for my birthday lunch sans a big Max Mara shopping bag would be an understatement. And he just shook his head and asked who the h*ll I was and what I have done to his wife when I told him why.

My #OneItemAMonth December and January - It's THE perfect neutral color, the cut is both unusual and really flattering. It's collarless, ankle long and with slits on the sides. And best of all, it's a 10th of what the Max Mara coat would have cost me.

So what is my December item then?

Well, it is, in fact, a coat. Just like I planned. Only not form Max Mara but from Reiss.

I found it the very same day. We were chasing down the store Santa for Ace after my birthday lunch and all of a sudden it was just hanging there in all its glory.

It’s THE perfect neutral color, the cut is both unusual and really flattering. It’s collarless, ankle long and with slits on the sides. And best of all, it’s a 10th of what the Max Mara coat would have cost me.

I was wondering if I was going to regret switching Max Mara for Reiss, but so far I absolutely adore my coat! So much so that I bought a matching pair of grey suede jodhpur boots as my January item.

They are from my favorite shoe shop Marzio in Stockholm and are the comfiest non-sneakers I have ever worn. I’m basically living in them at the moment. They even weatherproofed them for me in the shop before I took them home. That’s what I call service!

What I love about this style of boot is that it’s a bit more of a masculine touch than most other boots, they also transition very well between a day at the office and weekend walks. They are both really stylish and practical.

Btw how cute is Olive in her little coat?! I don’t dress her for looks, she is a cold little princess. But you can imagine the reactions she gets when she trots down the street in this little outfit.

Ok, now I have shown you mine, so it’s your turn to show me yours. What did you get this month? And if you want to be super generous and make me mega happy, please use #OneItemAMonth on Instagram so we all can see what you chose.

My #OneItemAMonth December and January - It's THE perfect neutral color, the cut is both unusual and really flattering. It's collarless, ankle long and with slits on the sides. And best of all, it's a 10th of what the Max Mara coat would have cost me.

Check out my #OneItemAMonth in November here.

Photos – Roz Alcazar. This post contains affiliate links. 

 

The Sustainable Wardrobe – Everlane

The sustainable wardrobe - A brand to wactch is sustainable US brand Everlane. I recently came across them and I ended up getting two items that I absolutley adore. A oversized camel coat and a grey double breasted wool blazer

It’s hard to find good sustainable brands.

There are not many of them and most of them a pretty small, so the range is usually limited. Generally, with non-sustainable clothes, you have a lot more to choose from.

And it makes complete sense since it’s REALLY HARD to run a sustainable brand. Not only are the processes harder, longer, more expensive and require a whole new level of research. They are also way more scrutinized than non-sustainable brands. 

We are so worried about green-washing and so knowledgable that the standard we ask for is almost unattainable if a company still wants to make any money. This is why people are scared of setting up sustainable brands in the first place and we really have the applaud and support those that despite all of this still give it a go.

But one sustainable brand I found fairly recently seems to have managed to grow a lot bigger than most – US sustainable brand Everlane.
They have a massive selection compared to their competitors and seem to be doing really well. They even have 6 physical stores in America.

At first, I was a bit worried about ordering from a US brand. (I want to clarify, in the interest of full transparency that I did have these 2 items gifted by the brand). There are things like shipping and duty to take into account when buying from overseas. Then we, of course, got the conundrum of shipping from far away and how sustainable that really is. (Good on you just wrote a very interesting article on the subject here.)

After having had a look at the Everlane website I was hooked. They have those kinds of clothes I knew I wanted but hadn’t really found yet.

I had been looking for a grey oversized double-breasted blazer in wool for a good while and the ones I liked were either sold out or by brands I didn’t want to support. It’s always a risk buying things like blazers without trying them on, but this one arrived and fitted me like a glove! Well, a slightly oversized glove, exactly how I like it.

For my second Everlane item, I opted for a straight, also oversized camel coat in wool. I even got it in one size up to make sure I could wear both of them together.

The sustainable wardrobe - A brand to wactch is sustainable US brand Everlane. I recently came across them and I ended up getting two items that I absolutley adore. A oversized camel coat and a grey double breasted wool blazer

The quality of these two items is absolutely lovely. I have had loads of compliments and have even lent the blazer out twice to different people.

I’m wearing it nipped in at the waist with a belt, open with a rollneck and Chelsea boots, draped over my shoulders and either on its own or matched with the camel coat. Since it’s wool, it’s warm and lovely for this time of the year, especially those days when the office is a bit chilly.

The coat is just the perfect length. I tend to flip the collar up against the cold wind, and I love that it has huge pockets, so I can leave my handbag at home if I fancy.

I got both the blazer and the coat in a size 0 and I would say that the coat is slightly larger in size than the blazer. Both of them are oversized as a style. And this suits me perfectly.

You can find my Everlane blazer here and my coat here.

Something I really like about Everlane is not only that they have their “re” ranges where they recycle fabric. But you can also see on the website exactly what factory your garment was made in and lots of information about it. Pretty cool right?

And on top of this, they have this crazy thing called “Choose what you pay”. Where you actually choose how much you think an item is worth.

I feel like the whole process is pretty transparent and I’m considering making my February item for my #OneItemAMonth challenge one from Everlane.

This is one brand I’m going to keep my eye on for the future. They seem to have found that rare formula of success that often allude many sustainable brands.

I have selected a few of my favorites from the current collection below. 

Photos – Ros Alcazar. This post contains affiliate links.

 

The biggest trend of 2020 is …

The biggest trend of 2020 is to use our voice for good. You thought this would be a fashion post right? Sorry if I'm disappointing you.

… to use your voice for good!

You thought this would be a fashion post right? Sorry if I’m disappointing you.

But it’s a true statement and a really important shift. At the moment there is a massive surge of interest in wanting to advocate for something bigger than ourselves. One of the very few trends out there I’m willing to embrace wholeheartedly.

We can see it happening in general in society, but I find it particularly interesting in the sphere of influencers.

Social media is a narcissistic mirror drowning us in our own feeds daily. It’s all me, me, and me again. Look what I have, look where I am, look what I’m wearing, look at what I can afford…

…and it’s exhausting to be so self-involved, self-promoting and self-serving all the time.

It’s also unhealthy to constantly be thinking about how we look in photos, if the outfit is cool enough and what caption to share to be more relatable and thereby get the most likes.

What we need is to from time to time step out of the spotlight for a while and instead shine that same light on something real. To use our voice for good and get to dig a little bit deeper, and experience influence in a truly important form. It’s a chance for us to turn our eyes away from the dollar signs and onto something larger than ourselves.

The biggest trend of 2020 is to use our voice for good. You thought this would be a fashion post right? Sorry if I'm disappointing you.

There are two great wins to this;

1. The causes influencers are advocating for are getting larger audiences and hopefully, it helps with the traction to spread awareness and even fundraising.

2. The influencers get to be a part of something non-selfish. And that is great for our mental health and sense of purpose.

There truly are no downsides to using our influence for good and that is why this trend hopefully is one that will stay with us and become a permanent fixture in our way of living and working from now on.

It literally cost us nothing but a tiny bit of time and energy to stand behind a good cause. And trust me, the reward is 100 times larger than the effort.

And there are countless ways of getting involved.

It actually doesn’t really matter what our cause is, as long as we use our voice for good, are helping where help is needed and the interest is selfless. It can be a charity close to your heart, a personal effort to help someone in need or just to take a stand and advocate for something that will make our world a little bit better.

Children, illnesses, the old, poverty, animals, mental health, sustainability, human rights, gender equality…. there are countless important issues in our world that need the attention we as influencers are able to give.

…and if you can’t think of something, head over to #Togetherband and pick one of the 17 UN global goals. All you need to do is to pick a cause, buy a bracelet and pop a post on your feed (or story). It’s as simple as that.

I find that once you get involved, even a little bit, you want to do more. The passion grows and so does the pride in taking part in something a lot more important than ourselves.

This is one of the pillars of #MINDFLUENCING – Mindful Influencing. We can’t just take, take, take. 2020 is the year to give back and use our voice for good.

Photo – Roz Alcazar. Dress – Ida Sjöstedt (gift), necklace Winsor Bishop (on loan). 

 

#OneItemAMonth 2020. Are you in?

Can you really get only #OneItemAMonth and still end up with your dream wardrobe AND also save money? I did it last year, and now it's your turn!


The pink Maje jacket was my July item

You who follow me regularly here on the blog or on Instagram probably know about my #OneItemAMonth challenge by now.

I post a lot about it, but in case you are new or have missed it here is a little recap;

In January 2019 I had enough.

I was one of those people with a massive wardrobe but never felt like I had anything to wear. I wanted to really pinpoint my own style and turn my then trend-led wardrobe into a timeless one.

So I began my journey towards a sustainable capsule wardrobe by having the biggest clothing cull of my life. I was merciless. 75% of the clothes I owned went either to fabric recycling, charity, friends, and family or on sale on Vestiaire collective.

I can’t tell you how LIBERATING it was!

(I’m going to do a post next week on exactly how to do a big clear out and how to know what to keep and what to let go of)

Can you really get only #OneItemAMonth and still end up with your dream wardrobe AND also save money? I did it last year, and now it's your turn!

I got my Golden Goose sneakers in March

I was then left with a much more manageable amount of clothes and a list of items I actually needed. Knowing myself if left to my own devices, I would have run out, list in hand and gone bananas in the shops.

To make sure I wouldn’t just fill my newly organized wardrobe right up again, I came up with a challenge. I was only to buy one single item of clothing a month for a whole year. Instead of impulse shopping on the high street as soon as a new trend swept by, I wanted to take my time and really choose my items carefully.

Instead of high-street, I focused on mid-to-high-end brands. Since I wasn’t buying lots of stuff, I had more money to invest in each and every piece of clothing.

All of a sudden I found myself being able to afford clothes that felt unattainable in the past. 

I invested in Joseph, Golden Goose, Filippa K, L’Agence, Roksanda, Dolce & Gabbana, Jimmy Choo, Maje and even Chanel. I did my absolute best to make my monthly spend stretch as far as possible and tried to get as many designer items pre-loved as possible.

Can you really get only #OneItemAMonth and still end up with your dream wardrobe AND also save money? I did it last year, and now it's your turn!


This Filippa K maxi dress was my first purchase of the challenge

Not only did I end up with high-end quality and amazing design, I actually spent less money on clothes than the year before. Pretty awesome right?

I got the question if I was going to do the challenge again in 2020 and to be honest, I hadn’t even thought about it. For the simple reason, that it’s not a challenge for me anymore. It’s a lifestyle and I would NEVER EVER want to go back to shopping the way I did in the past.

My wardrobe now is the bomb and I see no reason why not to continue.

…and the best thing about it is that I have got a whole load of you guys to join me! I can’t tell you have excited I am about seeing what you will buy and how this challenge will change the way you shop in 2020. 

Can you really get only #OneItemAMonth and still end up with your dream wardrobe AND also save money? I did it last year, and now it's your turn!


How gorgeous is the Dolce & Gabbana bikini I got in April?

I promise you will have seen such a great transformation in your style and your wardrobe, that by the end of this year, you will be blown away by the difference. You will feel and look like a completely different person. 

I will shoutout all of you who use #OneItemAMonth on Instagram. And we will all be able to follow the hashtag to see what others have invested in this month.

If you are tired of buying clothes that you don’t seem to actually wear very much. If you don’t like your own style and never seem to be able to afford the clothes you actually want. JOIN ME! IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!

Can you really get only #OneItemAMonth and still end up with your dream wardrobe AND also save money? I did it last year, and now it's your turn!


My best bargain must be my pre-loved Chanel pumps for £100!

The rules are;

– You are allowed to buy 1 item every month (if this is too harsh, make it 2, as long as you have a limit).

– Socks, everyday underwear, basic t-shirts and necessities that might not be fun, but important are excluded. Only you can say what those are, so make sure to know the difference.

– Buy quality over quantity, timelessness over trends, try to invest in pre-loved if possible. Maybe have a look at sustainable brands? But above all only buy things you really LOVE!

– And last but not least, share your #OneItemAMonth with the rest of us on Instagram (or here on the blog!).

Come on, what do you have to lose? (more than a bunch of really crappy clothes you don’t need?). Join us! We will start with our big clear-out next week here on the blog, to be ready for an awesome year of really amazing style.

I will do my best to put together a monthly style guide as a bit of inspiration to what to get if you are feeling a bit lost in the beginning.

Here we go, the #OneItemAMonth 2020 challenge starts now!

 

Why you should give dry-january a miss

Why you should give dry-january a miss - As you probably know by now, I'm all for setting goals and dreaming big. I love an opportunity to take stock and dig deep into myself and my situation. 

New year – New you?

January is the time to be dry, vegan, (poor) and spend all of our time in the gym. We are purging our lives and bodies after the indulgence of Christmas. Repent, repent, repent!

Yes, the start of the new year is the best time to set new intentions, evaluate where we are and establish some long-term goals. January is a dark, gloomy and boring month, where most of the light seems to be coming from looking forwards towards spring and all the things we will accomplish.

As you probably know by now, I’m all for setting goals and dreaming big. I love an opportunity to take stock and dig deep into myself and my situation.

However, if there is one thing I have learned is that change happens pretty slowly. For a great reason. It takes time to break old bad habits and set new better ones. The best way of reaching a goal is, in fact, to set up a long-term plan consisting of small changes in our lives.

The whole dry January, veganary, hit-the-gym-anary thing is often less about creating new good habits and more about repenting former sins. It’s a way for us to indulge and try to feel less guilty after. And once January is over, we go back to our same old lives for 12 months until it’s Christmas and time to do it all again.

Why you should give dry-january a miss - As you probably know by now, I'm all for setting goals and dreaming big. I love an opportunity to take stock and dig deep into myself and my situation. 

It’s all about sustainability folks, and in this instance, I’m for once not talking about the environment. I’m talking about what we, as busy, working, baby-producing, vacuum-cleaning, social, living people actually can sustain in our day-to-day life.

The whole -anuary thing is a great cop-out if you are trying to put a band-aid on your post-Christmas guilt. But it’s most likely not going to change much in the long run.

You are not really setting goals at all.

If you ACTUALLY want to reach a goal in 2020, sit down and have a good think. Write down a few areas in your life where you see the possibility for improvement. Start with the goal, and work backward 11 months to make a plan. What can you do every day/week/month to make this goal a reality in December?

… and don’t fall into the trap of thinking big. The goal can be big of course, but your steps should be as small as possible. The change should be so little that you barely notice it at all day-to-day. 

If you want to go vegan, start by switching a meal or two a week, then as you gradually get used to it, switch more. It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing. And saying that, there is no shame in being a part-time vegan or vegetarian. If that is what you can handle. It’s not all black or white, grey is a nice color too.

When it comes to one of our favorite subjects when it comes to setting goals –  hitting the gym, the first thing we need to do is to carve out the time and show up. We don’t even really need to work out in the beginning. It’s all about conditioning ourselves to go through the motion of taking the time. Then slowly we add the actual work-out into the mix.

We want to make it as easy for ourselves as possible to both reach and sustain our goals. The change needs to be realistic.

So instead of going vegan for a month, go vegan once a week. Instead of not drinking for a month, have a glass less every week and why not take the stairs instead of the lift before you get that expensive gym card?

Slowly but surely it will all accumulate and in December we might be able to actually do for a lifetime what we would otherwise only have been doing for a month.

Since I had a bit of a slow start this year, I haven’t really had the time to set my intentions yet. So this is what I will be doing this weekend. How about it? Are you setting goals that you will actually reach this year?

Photo – Roz Alcazar

My pink linen shirt is gifted by sustainable brand Freya Lillie. The belt is second hand from Save the children, my bag is Prada and the boots are Mark Ellis (they are on sale, and you can find them here – affiliate link)

 

My slightly dramatic and totally silly reason for disappearing on you

…and I’m back!

First, I want to say sorry for disappearing on you without saying why or when I would be back. I did, however, have a pretty good reason.

You see, on the Monday of the last work-week before Christmas, I did something completely silly that I had no idea was going to really affect me. It was something incredibly insignificant and stupid, or so I thought at the time.

I banged my head in a kitchen cabinet door.

Something stressed moms tend to do on a regular basis. Nothing to worry about right?

It wasn’t even a very hard bump, just in an unfortunate place. Somehow I have managed to hit that very sensitive spot behind the ear. It hurt like **** and the whole area swelled up. But since it was such a light bump, I really didn’t think much about it.

I went to work like normal the next day, and even though I felt a bit slow, I put it down to it being my last office-day before Christmas and my need of a holiday. I remember having trouble finding certain words when I was writing emails and in the evening, attending Santas grotto with my son at nursery, I felt lightheaded and struggled to keep a conversation going with a friend. At one point I remember looking at Ace’s shoes and not being able to see the difference between the right and the left foot.

Even then I didn’t put the two together. It was only on the next day when I woke up with a headache from hell, I got a bit worried.

I am not a headache person, and when I couldn’t get out of bed without the pain forcing me down onto my knees, I got scared for real. I could only explain it as having birth contractions in my brain.

By the afternoon we had to call an ambulance. It was one of the worst pains I have ever felt. Luckily the ambulance crew was lovely and got me swiftly to the hospital where they concluded I had managed to give myself a minor head injury (a concussion).

…so I got some serious painkillers and got put on bed rest for 5 days and no screens for 2 weeks.

Looking back I should have popped my head in and just written a little note in here at that point, but to be honest, I was really enjoying my time off.

You see, I have been blogging since 2006 and I have never had a holiday without still “working”. For me to get to take 2 whole weeks off writing and having to be creative was pure bliss.

During this time we went to Sweden to celebrate Christmas with my family. Every morning we took a long walk in the woods with Ace, played with pinecones and jumped in the fluffy moss. We spend proper quality time with my parents and my sisters. I slept 9 hours every night and spent every evening in front of a log-fire reading a good book.

I actually managed to read 3 books in those two weeks. And I don’t know how many games of Yatzy with the hubby.

Aside from the concussion, this Christmas it was probably the thing my body and mind needed the most. I haven’t felt this refreshed in years and it actually changed something in me.

It made me realize that I need to give myself a break now and then, to just be and not produce. Not just an hour here or there, but an actual week a couple of times a year. For my creativity, mental health and my family’s sake.

…and the great thing now is that I’m back with sooo much more energy and motivation. I’m incredibly excited to see what 2020 will bring and I hope you are too.

From next week I will be back to updating 2-3 times/week like normal. You can always follow me on Bloglovin’ or sign up to my newsletter to make sure you don’t miss any of my posts.

Happy New year my friends, let’s make sure this will be the best one yet!

…and take care of your brains. They are more sensitive than we think and we are incredibly lucky when we are healthy and can think and function like normal. Even a small concussion can make a big difference. 

My top is by Toteme, bought pre-loved on Vestiaire Collective. My scarf is by Alva Norge and my earring by Winsor Bishop.  (affiliate links)

Photo – Roz Alcazar

 

How to make a more sustainable Christmas wish list

I used to find it really hard to put together a Christmas wish list. 

I was always really non-specific and wished for fairly random things that popped up in my head when someone asked. Not sustainable or very clever since I put basically no thought into it at all.

These days I’m much better. I now have a formula I follow to make sure I’m not wasting anyone’s money and effort, our natural resources or my storage space. (London flats…) I now know how much more sustainable it is to be clever with what I wish for.

On top of my Christmas wish list is always experiences. A dinner with someone, tickets to the theatre, a concert or a day at the spa. Memories shared with loved ones are worth more than 100 things.

When it comes to actual items, I’m one of those annoying people who tend to buy what I need. And I don’t want to wish for things I don’t need. So to make sure to have things to wish for. I find myself not getting certain things just so I can wish for them at Christmas. 

This year I have had my eye on these amazing beige Chelsea boots by sustainable brand  Everlane, a pair of mid-rise black straight jeans by Toteme and a Nanushka faux leather dress that I absolutely love. I added the Valentino bag as a bit of a dream-item, because why not. (You can find it new here, and pre-loved here). 

I’m of course not expecting to receive all of these things, but at least I know I will be very happy if I get any of them. And most of all I know they will come to use.

One of the easiest things to wish for is beauty products I already love. I know they will run out sooner or later and I also know that I would buy them again. As long as I’m specific with everything from shade to scent, it’s pretty spot on.

Like my amazing Diorskin foundation that I’m obsessed with and wear every day and my favorite Löwengrip dry shampoo that gives a fresh feeling to my hair but without making it sticky and itchy.

…I have also finally found a perfume I really love. I had a tester to try for a week, and I’m sure Byredo’s Mister Marvellous is my new signature scent. So these 3 things would be amazing gifts to me.

My last little trick for a more sustainable Christmas wishlist is to add a few things I never buy myself but always love to receive. Like my all-time favorite candle Baise by Diptyque. It’s such a treat when I get given one and it makes me truly happy.

Most important is that I don’t want to end up with things I don’t use. In the past, I kept items I was gifted but I didn’t like. In case I would change my mind or just to make the giver feel good. Now when I have finally cleared it all out and got rid (gave away mostly) of all the stuff I owned and didn’t use. I’m going to do my best to make sure I don’t start hoarding things again.

I know to some the gifts are a big part of Christmas, so this is my formula to make it work on a sustainable level without stepping on any toes or traditions.

…or if the family is open to something new, you can always try the Christmas game. Then you won’t need a Christmas wish list at all. 

You can find my post on how to give more sustainable Christmas gifts here.