My one-item-a-month in May – The perfect Jimmy Choo sneakers

It's time to present my "One-item-a-month" purchase in May - My beloved Jimmy Choo sneakers!  I absolutely love what this challenge has done to my shopping habits and my wardrobe

It’s time to present my “One-item-a-month” purchase in May – My beloved Jimmy Choo sneakers!

I absolutely love what this challenge has done to my shopping habits and my wardrobe. I totally used to shop emotionally and now when I only have one single item I’m allowed to buy every month, I have to think rationally.

I can’t impulse buy in the same way I used to and I really take my time to choose what I actually need.

Now, my Jimmy Choo sneakers was a bit of an impulse buy since I was able to purchase them to a discounted price. But I still did think rationally. I put all the high heels back on the shelf again and decided that a second pair of sneakers this year is a better investment.

I already got my Golden Goose sneakers in March that I absolutely adore. But since they are white and I would like to keep them somewhat nice. A black pair to alternate with seemed like a good idea. And it was! I have used them like crazy already.

They are perfect for the days when I want to look somewhat put together for meetings or events and then have to head straight to nursery to pick Ace up after. I don’t feel like I have to be particularly careful when I wear them since they are black and quite sturdy.

I’m also a sucker for quirky details. So the little polka dots on these sneakers are perfection. I’m so glad I got these little beauties  To be fair I got these at the same sale, but they ended up being my mothers day gift from my boys. And I also have to admit I did buy them in April. But as long as I end up with 12 items over the 12 months this challenge lasts. I will call it a success.

I often match my Jimmy Choo sneakers with summery dresses. Basically, if you head to Megan’s in Clapham any given weekday, you will most likely find me looking kind of like the photo. (My dress is by Gestuz and you can find it here – affiliate link) If I have meetings or events I tend to put some makeup on. Otherwise, I just let my skin rest. BTW how amazing is it that they have a tree in the middle of Megan’s? I love that place, it’s so pretty!

So now I want to know what item you purchased this month?

I’m hoping to inspire as many of you as possible to take on this challenge with me. I promise it will change the way you look at shopping and your wardrobe forever.

I’m so excited that I 5 months in already really notice a difference in my wardrobe. I now basically just own things that I really love and use. It’s fantastic. I never feel like I don’t have anything to wear. Seriously, you need to give it a go! 

It's time to present my "One-item-a-month" purchase in May - My beloved Jimmy Choo sneakers!  I absolutely love what this challenge has done to my shopping habits and my wardrobe

Photo at the top. Ida Zander. Location – Megan’s Clapham. 

 

Mindful Monday 13th May

All white outfit - I love Mondays, I see it as a new beginning. I'm too impatient to wait for longer than 7 days. Here is my affirmation, focus, vision, and lesson this week;

Hello, new week!

I just like the idea of a new beginning ever 7 days. Some people save it for January or possibly the start of every month. I’m too impatient and like to close my circles a bit quicker. I want to reflect, evaluate and tweak my course often. So 7 days it is and that’s why Monday always feels like a brand new opportunity to me.

This week is crazy cool. I got so many fun things coming up!

I’m starting off by being a guest on a panel discussing social media on a big news channel tomorrow. Then in the evening, I’m going to get to meet no one other than the amazing fashion designer Alice Temperley. I mean, what a day right?

I also have a great event on Thursday and then the hubby and I are spending the weekend at a hotel sans baby for a wedding. It’s the first time Ace will sleep at his grandparents. He is 20 months now and pretty easy going, so I’m sure he will have a blast.

And then on Monday Garth and I are going to have a little movie date-night before we take Ace and jet off to South Africa on Tuesday.

I’m so excited for all of the above. I mean I have loads to plan and to do. I haven’t even started washing clothes for the trip yet. But bring it on!

This is my affirmation, focus, vision, and lesson this week;

My mantra this week  – “Let’s go for it!” After two pretty slow weeks, I’m ready to go full steam ahead again. I have to admit I’m still kind of cold-y from the latest round of nursery bugs. But I’m bored with it and ready to kick the tempo up a notch.

My affirmation this week – “I know what I’m doing”. Or at least I know as much about what I’m doing as most other people do. It’s easy to assume everyone got their shit together, but to be honest most of us are winging it. It’s a part of challenging yourself. If things are not new and scary then we are not reaching far enough.

I have never been on a panel debate on a news channel before. But I’m used to being in front of the camera and I have a lot to say. So I feel pretty well prepared even though it is my first time.

My goal this week  – My goal this week is to keep a good balance between working hard, having fun and spending downtime with my family. When I have busy weeks I always look for little pockets of rest where I can disconnect and just recover. This week it’s Wednesday and Friday night I’m hoping to spend in bed with a book.

All white outfit - I love Mondays, I see it as a new beginning. I'm too impatient to wait for longer than 7 days. Here is my affirmation, focus, vision, and lesson this week;


My dream of the week – I’m dreaming of living a whole life like mine has been this month. May has been absolutley amazing for me. Tv appearance, meeting incredibly inspiring people like Roksana Ilichic and Alice Temperley spend lots of time with my loved ones and being spoon fed inspiration almost daily. All this while still feeling on top of my work and like I have had enough time and energy to be a good mom. This month has had a really great balance, I wish the whole year would continue the same way.

My vision this week  – Garth and I have been binge watching “Tiny house nation” on Netflix. I find it totally inspiring to watch people create proper, albeit tiny homes on such a small budget. It shows how much you afford to do if you are willing to do something different. Maybe we can move our plans for a country house a bit closer in time if we decide to go for something a bit smaller? I would love to have a tiny house to spend our weekends away from London in.

My focus this week – I’m focusing on really squeezing every drop out of this power-week.

The event of the week  – What a hard choice. The panel discussion tomorrow? To get to meet Alice Temperley in person? The wedding on Saturday?

Actually the biggest thing this week is by far to leave Ace with Garth’s parents for the first time. I think he would have been ready sooner, but we took our time. So now we are going to spend two nights away from him for the first time ever. And I’m really looking forward to just being husband and wife and put the Mom and Dad hats away for a few hours. And to really enjoy the wedding on our own.

My lesson from last week – As soon as I think we must have had every germ in the world, we get sick again. I’m beginning to understand that this is our life now. We are just always going to have colds… Maybe the summer will help a bit? Or is that wishful thinking?

My everyday-luxury this week – Friday night we are staying in a hotel in Devon. Ace will be with Merrill and Owen. Garth will be away on groomsman’s duties and I’m planning on eating dinner in bed and taking a long bath whilst reading a book. I want my skin to resemble a prune before I get up.

My inspiration this week – Great Facebook groups. There are basically groups for everything. My favorite one is, of course, my own – Sustainable Sustainability. If you are looking to live a more sustainable life, one small change at the time, then I really recommend you to join us.

Do you have a great Facebook group to recommend?

What is your affirmation, focus, vision, and lesson this week?

Photo – Ida Zander. You can find all the links to my outfit here (some items are old, so I have linked similar ones). – Affiliate links. 

 

From a blogger of 12 years – My 10 best pieces of advice for new bloggers

I have been blogging for a very long time. I started in 2007 and haven't stopped since. In all those years I have become a bit of an expert on both blogging and the blogging industry. These are my 10 best pieces of advice for new bloggers starting out;

I have been blogging for a very long time. I started in 2007 and haven’t stopped since. In all those years I have become a bit of an expert on both blogging and the blogging industry. 

It’s a business that is constantly changing and evolving. It looks completely different depending on if you are blogging in the UK, US or Sweden. Only the difference between this blog and my Swedish blog is massive. It’s two utterly contrasting ways of blogging for two wildly different markets. Sure I can share some imagery and topics between the two blogs, but that’s about it.

So what worked for me when I started blogging in Sweden will most likely not work for new bloggers starting out now here in the UK.

However, I do know what my readers appreciate and I’m also very experienced in the industry. So these are my 10 best pieces of advice for new bloggers starting out;

1. Make sure to start on WordPress.org, and then self-host as quickly as possible.

It can be a nightmare to move a blog. Even I, who am a part of the big network United Influencers and have loads of technical help, found it stressful when I moved over from another network last year. I have done 4 blog moves in my 12 years as a blogger and unless you have proper help or are on a platform that makes it really easy, it’s a bit of a nightmare. So start where you intend to stay, at least for the foreseeable future.

2. Pick a topic you are truly passionate and know a lot about.

My blogs have always been about lifestyle. I focus mainly on fashion, beauty, travel, interiors and recently a bit of mom-life since I had Ace. I’m very fortunate to have a really wide variety of subjects to choose from. It truly makes my life a lot easier.

However, the blog market is a lot more saturated now than when I started out. So these days I would strongly recommend new bloggers to pick a particular subject and stick with it. And if you are going to spend all that time immersing yourself into a subject, it better be something you truly love. So think long and hard about your subject before you do anything else.

3. Post high quality-photos that are your own.

Ok, are you ready for some hard love?

A few years ago you could get away with a lot more quality-wise. Camera phones, badly put-together collages and stolen photos from Pinterest. Now the competition is fierce, so great photography is the key. If you are serious about blogging, it’s worth the investment to get a good camera-kit or hire a professional photographer to help you out. I have both and I still sometimes struggle. Imagery is at times harder than the actual writing.

Also, the stock photo route might look tempting, but honestly, very few blogs can get away with it. It only works if your photos don’t really matter and basically just there to break up the text. If not, you just have to suck it up. You can’t go wrong with your own high-quality imagery.

4. Find your voice.

Not every blogger need to be all “hey ya’ll gals”…

I’m Swedish, and it comes across in my writing since it makes me a more direct and a bit less girly and fluffy. My followers have come to know this as my signature style. Sure, not everyone will love it, but we are not looking to please everyone, only our target group. It’s not sustainable to try to be someone else in the long run. Just do yourself and use your own voice, even if you are a grumpy old Swede. I promise your followers will love you for it.

5. Find your own style.

Just like on Instagram, it’s really easy to look at what’s already out there and try to copy it. The problem is that it won’t ever be anything else than a slightly less great copy of something cool. So do yourself a favor and skip the whole step of “researching” other peoples photos and way of writing and find a style you love. Every time you post on your blog, think “is this me and do I love it?” before you press publish.

I have been blogging for a very long time. I started in 2007 and haven't stopped since. In all those years I have become a bit of an expert on both blogging and the blogging industry. These are my 10 best pieces of advice for new bloggers starting out;

6. Find a rhythm and be consistent.

When I started blogging 12 years ago it was the norm to update 5 times a day. Crazy right?! It was quantity over quality, but people loved it. I actually had readers message me if I hadn’t posted in the last couple of hours.

These days it’s more about what you put up than how often. Find a schedule that works for you. If you post more often you will have more pageviews but possibly the same amount of followers than if you post less. I post 3-4 times every week on this blog and 6-7 times every week on my Swedish blog. If I only had this blog I would post every Monday-Friday, so 5 times a week. I think that’s a nice amount and very doable for me personally.

If you want to post often then you will have to learn to master the art of letting things go. Done is better than perfect. Just a little side-note form a former perfectionist who spent way too much time on each post and almost hit the wall.

7. Share your content.

Don’t just write and expect people to find you on their own. Yes, you will have readers come from Google and other search engines (if you are on top of your SEO). But honestly, if you want to have a shot at growing a blog these days, you need to push it.

I’m talking sharing on multiple platforms (Instagram/Pinterest/Twitter/Linked-in/Bloglovin’ you name it). Research the right Facebook groups for your target group, do swipe ups from Instastories to every new post you publish and make sure to pin your work on Pinterest. Use 50% of your time to produce content and 25% to share it.

8. Get out there.

Contact the relevant PR people for your genre. Don’t be shy, they need you as much as you need them. Make sure to get invited to events and meetings. It might feel a bit daunting to new bloggers, but it’s honestly the only way to get a foot in the door. If you want to earn money from your blogging, then people need to know you personally. This is where the last 25% of your time should be used.

Get out there and network your cute little butt off, they will love you.

9. Treat it like a job.

Even if it’s your side hustle right now, hopefully, you will one day end up blogging full-time. So be professional from day one. Block out the time you intend to spend on your blog every week and stay consistent using it to create content/promote or working on your network. Answer all emails, even if it’s only quick and always keep your promises. You don’t get a chance to change a first impression and as with any other business, reputations are important.

10. Have fun and stay creative.

After 12 years I’m a bit of an expert at staying creative. I have over 9 000 posts on my Swedish blog. That is a lot of hours of writing and just as many different headlines and takes on my subjects. If there is one thing that’s important to me, it’s to keep inspired and motivated.

I create at my best when I have a good balance in my life and it’s up to me to make sure I keep that balance. You have to find what inspires you and what gives you that new energy you need to keep going.
I find that magazines, books, yoga and spending time with inspirational people really help me keep my focus.

Find a way to re-load those creative batteries and do it often.

…and most importantly, just stick with it.

It won’t happen over a day. I have seen sooooo many new bloggers come and go. But the best blogs with the really passionate people behind them, they always do well sooner or later. So believe in yourself and keep on creating.

I believe in you!

Photo – Ida Zander. You can find similar jeans here a similar headband here and a similar t-shirt here – affiliate links Location – Minnow Clapham. 

I have been blogging for a very long time. I started in 2007 and haven't stopped since. In all those years I have become a bit of an expert on both blogging and the blogging industry. These are my 10 best pieces of advice for new bloggers starting out;
 

The art of exfoliating & my new favorite mask

It's such a fine line between over and under-exfoliating. So many skin care issues could be solved by proper exfoliation.

Since I had Ace I have been looking for an exfoliating product that actually works. I want it to really clean out my pores and remove old dead skin, but at the same time be gentle enough for my slightly more sensitive skin. 

It might sound like I’m asking a lot. And I am.

It actually took me all of 1.5 years to find a product that fit all my criteria. And knowing what a beauty geek I am, you can only imagine how many products I indeed have tried. Everything from Dermalogicas classic – affiliate link, to different gadgets and over-night peels. Nothing worked for me.

After having a baby, my skin is so much more sensitive than it used to be. I swear I could have exfoliated with sanding paper in the past and been fine. Now my skin hates everything active enough to actually make a difference.

I however still need to deep cleanse my pores at least once a week. My skin needs it to stay content and happy.

I went to a lovely event for MZ skin, the new skincare brand by plastic surgeon and skin guru Dr Maryam Zamani a few weeks ago. We all left with a little bag of press samples and in that bag was amongst other things a lovely mask with a very long and impractical name –  “Radiance & Renewal Instant Clarity Refining Mask”. I find the name a bit much, but the mask itself is pretty perfect.

My pores get a good old clean, my skin feels soft after and all without any irritation. Halleluja!

Now I feel like can actually go back to the skincare routine I had before I got pregnant. Only with slightly gentler products.

It’s such a fine line between over and under-exfoliating. So many skin care issues could be solved by proper exfoliation. I get the feeling that people don’t exfoliate at all and don’t really see the point of it. Or the opposite, they love the feeling of exfoliated skin and over do it.

Exfoliation is as personal as it comes. A product that works for one person might not at all work for someone else. I have friends that can exfoliate 3 times a week and look radiant and for some once a month is all their skin can handle. For me, it’s once a week, or I get punished with blotchy cheeks, breakouts, and dryness.

This mask contains lactic acid, acelactic acid, glucuronic acid and papaya enzyme. All these ingredients exfoliate in a chemical way. There are physical “peelers” out there, but I would recommend you to stay away from them. Anything with small particles or granules do more damage than good. Fruit acids are a very popular and gentle ingredient in good exfoliating products, so look out for those.

You can find “Radiance & Renewal Instant Clarity Refining Mask” here – affiliate link. It’s not cheap, but it works for me.

Oh, and you should check out my Instastory today. This mask has an added little bonus that’s pretty cool. (If you are reading this post at a later date, go to my “beauty” highlight, and you will find the story there).

Don’t forget to USE SPF when you exfoliate guys. It’s always important, but especially after retinol and exfoliators.

Ok, time for the truth – Do you exfoliate? And if you do, what product do you use and how often? 

…looking for a great day cream? Check this post out!

It's such a fine line between over and under-exfoliating. So many skin care issues could be solved by proper exfoliation.
 

Linen – Old man suits or a trendy, sustainable fabric hero?

Linen - Old man suits or a trendy, sustainable fabric hero?

You can’t throw a stick in a shop without hitting a garment made of linen at the moment. It is everywhere!

In the past linen has mostly been reserved for old men’s summer suits. Often matched with a snazzy Panama hat and a stinky big cigar.

But now we are claiming it back, sans cigars. Because linen is a great fabric for clothing for so many reasons.

First of all, it’s really airy and cooling in the summer. Secondly, it has an amazing structure and really creates a beautiful dimension to any piece of clothing. Yes, it does crinkle easily, but to me, it just makes it even more interesting and personal. Linen is always going to look slightly lived in and that in itself tells a bit of a story. I have to admit I hate ironing with a vengeance, so the idea of constantly ironing a linen garment is a no-go for me. However, if you are up for it, feel free to iron away.

The extra bonus is that linen is a sustainable fabric that will last you for years to come.

It’s one of the most biodegradable options out there since it’s made of flax plant fibers. It’s even naturally moth and bacteria resistant! The way it’s made makes it really resilient and it’s one of the few fabrics that’s actually stronger wet than dry. This is the reason why linen becomes softer the more we wash it.

One thing to keep in mind is that because linen is so sturdy, it takes a lot to bleach it. So pure white linen has to go through quite the process. This is why it’s better for the environment to try to stick to natural shades of linen like tan, beige, grey, ivory, and ecru.

Linen - Old man suits or a trendy, sustainable fabric hero?

I’m totally in love with linen and are now looking to invest in a perfect suit in this sustainable fabric.

I’m thinking a long-line blazer and trousers that slightly flare out. (If anyone has the blazer from the latest H&M Conscious exclusive collection – affiliate link, in a size 4 and want to sell it, please send me an email to Tess@TessM.se)

This dress by Mango is gorgeous and perfect to pack when going away on holidays this summer. It’s light, airy and looks amazing with sandals or kitten heels. It’s coming with us on our trip to South Africa at the end of the month. It easily transitions between early morning safaris and afternoon drinks by the pool.

It’s actually on sale at the moment and you can find it here. affiliate link.

If you love this on this great sustainable fabric as much as I do and haven’t invested in a timeless linen piece yet, I have put a few together below. They are all by different brands from Asos.

1 – Miss Selfridge, 2 – Whistles, 3 – Whistles, 4 – & Other stories, 5 – Mango (mine) – affiliate links. 

Linen - Old man suits or a trendy, sustainable fabric hero?

Photos – Ida Zander

 

Mindful Monday 13th May

Mindful Monday 13th May - My weekly goal, mantra, inspiration, and vision

Hello lovelies, how are you today? Are you ready for a new week? I’m happy to be back in London and getting into my regular routines again. 

Having started my blog career in Sweden more than 11 years ago, I’m still trying to figure out blogging in the UK.

When I first started, the norm was to post 5 times a DAY!! I’m not joking. This was way before Instagram and we used our blogs more like we do Instastories now. A quick grainy phone snap of something, a few sentences of what we were up to and maybe a recommendation of some sorts.

Obviously a far cry from where we are today with our glossy and well-edited feeds.

In one way it was great since it gave that instant feel of actually following a blogger. But it was also exhausting and the content was quite blah. In those days I could easily have half a million page views each month. My followers checked my blog several times a day. It’s completely mind-blowing when I think of it now.

These days, as a Swedish blogger, you should post about 10 posts a week at least. Quite a lot still… I do about 7 a week on my Swedish blog.

What I want to ask you guys is, how many posts a week do you want me to put up here?

At the moment I aim for 3-4 a week. Would you like more or is it enough? I would love your feedback, please. I do, in the end, blog for your entertainment (and a bit for my own sanity like these Mindful Monday posts).

What do you think, how many posts are enough?

This is my goal, mantra, inspiration, and vision for the upcoming week;

My mantra this week  – “Think outside the box”  What a cliché! But at the moment I have a niggling feeling that there is something important I cannot see. Something just outside the box of my comfort zone that can make a big difference. So this week I’m challenging myself to do things differently and monitor the results.

My affirmation this week – “I always have a choice”. Our psyche is a funny and complicated thing. It likes to make things simple, prefers routine and things that are familiar. This often makes us feel like we don’t have choices in life, when in fact, all we have is options. We have to break the illusion of feeling powerless and start making slightly uncomfortable choices. I love the idea that one decision can change our lives forever. Like my very impulsive and crazy decision to move to London 14 years ago.

My goal this week – We only have a couple of weeks here in London before we head off to Exeter for Meg and Andy’s wedding. And then a few days later jet off to South Africa to visit Ace’s godfather in Durban. My husband Garth is from Zimbabwe, and we try to make it down as often as we can to see friends and family. The day Ace is old enough to understand and remember more from the trip, we will take him to Zim. But, for now, South Africa is close enough. So my focus is to enjoy home-life before the circus of traveling with a toddler starts again.

Mindful Monday 13th May - My weekly goal, mantra, inspiration, and vision

My dream of the week – I dream about making social media better. I started with #MINDFLUENCING in January and have since tried to inspire bloggers and influencers to think about what we post. What messages we send out and what we stand for. Not just to tackle the mental health issue, but also subjects like sustainability and giving back. I think it’s terribly selfish to have a massive platform and only focus on selling stuff and making money. It’s hardly any effort at all to inspire our followers and fellow influencers to be more mindful. I have unfollowed lots of big profiles who’s social channels only project greed, ego, and self-promotion. Imagine if they took just 10% of their time and energy to actually do something good, what a difference it would make!

My vision this week – My vision is to get the message above across to as many people as possible. To actually be able to make a difference before we decide that social media is evil. Before people start boycotting platforms like Facebook and Instagram. We have to make sure we use social media to make the world smaller, to bring us closer together than further apart. We choose what we put on our social channels and what we endorse, so we ultimately decide if social media is good or bad.

My focus this week – My focus this week is creativity. I’m at the perfect time of my month to be at my best creativity and inspiration-wise. When I feel like this I know I can create great things, so it’s up to me to maximize.

Mindful Monday 13th May - My weekly goal, mantra, inspiration, and vision

The event of the week – On Thursday I’m looking forward to a breakfast event with fashion designer Roksanda Ilincic. I’m a big fan, so I can’t wait to get to meet her in person.

My lesson from last week – I’m not stuck at home anymore. I can do a lot more outside the house now when Ace is that little bit older. Even though he doesn’t attend nursery full-time yet (He will do 5 half-days a week when he starts nursery school next year) I still feel like I have options. Garth can stay in an evening a week and I now know I have the liberty to say yes to fun events and parties.

My everyday-luxury this week – Tonight I will be in bed early to finish “”21 lessons for the 21st century”. It has taken me ages to get through this book. I have to read, stop and have a think about almost every sentence to truly understand the essence of all the cool stuff the author is sharing. I feel like my brain is being fed an incredibly nourishing meal.

My inspiration this week– I watched this cool Netflix documentary called “The Creative brain“. I find these things fascinating and love when they explain why we function the way we do.

What is your personal goal, mantra, inspiration, and vision this week?

Photo –  Ida Zander. Find my amazing jumpsuit from Current Air here. – affiliate link

 

Thirsty skin? Then this is the day cream for you

I do not switch my beauty products very often. I truly believe in sticking with what works and when I have a routine my skin likes, it will take a lot for me to risk disturbing the precious balance.

When I like something I basically just want to bulk buy it and use it for the rest of my life. However, I do have to remind myself of two things;

1. I’m a blogger – It’s my job to try new products and decide if I want to recommend them to you or not.

2. What if I find something that works even better? If I don’t try, I won’t know!

I have a day cream from REN I really like and have been using for ages. However, I know a lot of other people find it a bit too heavy. And it doesn’t work with all serums either.

So I have been looking for a really great moisturizing day cream to switch to.

I already absolutely adore Eve Lom, I  have quite a few of the products. But I have to admit I totally picked this one based on how pretty it is. There is something about gold and white that just makes my bathroom look a lot more elegant. It actually inspired me to dedicate half a shelf only to products in this color combination. Crazy cream lady here!

I am a bit of a magpie.. and it is ok to like pretty, shiny things.

However, when it comes to skincare, it’s what’s on the inside that really counts.

Eve Lom moisture cream is exactly what I have been looking for – basically just like a good big drink of water for my skin. It’s actually awesome. My face is smooth like a baby’s pink little cute butt and the cream goes well with my serums. It’s easy to apply, I feel like it lasts all day and I have no problems adding makeup on top.

The main ingredients are hyaluronic acid and a couple of antioxidants. I don’t actually need much more than that since I get my more specific ingredients from my serums. I truly believe that the key to good skin is to keep it really hydrated.

BTW did you know that one single gram of hyalyronic acid can hold up to 6 liters of water? (source). Isn’t that crazy? It’s actually one of the few ingredients that work for all kinds of skin types since it’s the main function is to add moisture.

If you are looking for a real moisture bomb, have somewhat of a healthy budget and like pretty products, then I can really recommend Eve Lom Moisture cream. It’s actually crazy good!

You can get the Eve Lom moisture cream hereAffiliate link

In the photos, you can also find my amazing Jimmy Choo kitten heels, a headband from Asos and my new amazing earrings by Ida Sjöstedt *

* These products are gifts

 

The recipe of a perfect hen-do in Valencia

The recipe of a perfect hen-do in Valencia - Tess Montgomery

To cook up the most spectacular hen-do in Valencia you need these ingredients;

A blushing bride – Meg! This little stunner is marrying Garth’s best friend Andy at the end of the month and she is a total babe. You can see her in white in the photo above.

Friends & family – Girls, boys, dogs…whoever. As long as it’s people the bride cares a lot about. This time there were 19 of us. Mainly friends, but also Meg’s mom and aunties. I have to admit I have never been to a hen with parents involved before. But I can totally see why Meg wanted them there. I swear they partied most of all of us. The aunties are hilarious and Meg’s mom a total gem. I would encourage more brides to invite a broader spectrum of ages, in this case, it was only a massive bonus.

A hen-do friendly place – Barcelona is both terribly expensive and very done. This is why Valencia is the better option if you want to have your hen abroad. I was totally blown away by this super cool town. You have culture, art, great food, a perfect beach, amazing nightclubs and it’s about half the price compared to London. A no-brainer if you ask me.

Obviously, it’s a lot better for the environment to go somewhere by train instead of flying. So that is something to keep in mind when you choose the location.

Somewhere to sleep – (even though it might only be for a wink or two…) We booked 3 apartments at Bonnies. In the middle of town, spaceous with gorgeous interiors and not too pricey. Included is also access to the roof terrace with a jacuzzi and a spa area with a sauna. I will for sure book Bonnies again in the future since it’s the perfect place to stay for a hen-do in Valencia.

The recipe of a perfect hen-do in Valencia - Tess Montgomery


A fun activity to get to know Valencia – Why not a 3 hour guided bike tour? It was a great way to get out bearings, learn about the culture and see more than just clubs, bars, beach and the immediate area of the flat. Yes, we did lose a few people… but we also found them again. Imagine 19 girls on bikes in a row…

The recipe of a perfect hen-do in Valencia - Tess Montgomery


A cool spot to have dinner – Marina beach club. Gorgeous food (and bar staff), yummy drinks, situated on the beach and with an outdoor nightclub nextdoors. We are talking serious summery party vibes!

How stunning isn’t meg in her white jumpsuit? I think she said it was Primani…*

The recipe of a perfect hen-do in Valencia - Tess Montgomery


A crazy awesome club to go to after dinner– L’umbracle and Mya club!  Go after midnight to party in the garden and after 2 am to dance in the club situated in the basement. Honestly, I have never seen such a beautiful nightclub in my life. The park bit at the top is spectacular. And the music was really great too! You do not want to miss it!

A fun game – We all got a scorecard to fill in during the night. We would win different points by performing tasks like copying a stranger’s dancing, arm wrestle a stranger, find and take a selfie with a man with the same name as the groom, get a piggyback and collect 3 numbers from different men.

Don’t worry, I sent off a quick message to the hubby before I chose to participate. I got “I will be disappointed if you don’t win” back. So it was totally ok for me to join even though I’m married and a Mom. One of the single girls came home with numbers written all over her body. Safe to say she won.

The recipe of a perfect hen-do in Valencia - Tess Montgomery


A (maybe not so well-timed) Sunday excursion – To my great joy we got on a catamaran and spent a few hours out at sea. I was, however, one of the few girls who enjoyed it. Hungover, no sleep and a rocking boat is maybe not the best combination. In the end more than half of our group was hiding under towels, not feeling all that great.

So a tip is to schedule any sea adventures before the big party night.

We had such an amazing time and I think it was the best hen-do I have ever been to. It was a perfect balance between party and recovery time. Even though most of us didn’t know each other, everyone had fun together. I think Meg truly enjoyed herself, and that is the most important thing of all.

Thank you to all the girls who were there. It was an amazing weekend. And thank you Zoe for organizing it all. 

So now you know exactly what to book to have the most epic hen-do in Valencia. 

*Primark…

 

Mindful Monday 6the May – My focus, goal, mantra, and vision this week

Mindful Monday 6the May - My focus, goal, mantra, and vision this week

And I’m back again after an amazing trip to France with my little family. Followed by an epic hen-weekend in Valencia to celebrate Megs getting married.

I feel like it has been months, but in reality, we were only away for a little bit over than 12 days. It was lovely to get to take a break from the blogs and just focus on my family and friends. I’m now back in London with renewed energy and inspiration.

It’s easy to see holidays and recovery time as negative productivity-wise. But in reality, it’s the exact opposite. We need to step out of our everyday lives to be able to stay inspired and focused. If we do the same thing over and over again, we will end up creating on routine and all the imagination and fun goes out the window. So please, never feel like you can’t or shouldn’t take a holiday. Because it’s the exact opposite. It will do you and your work only good.

This is my focus, goal, mantra, and vision this week

My mantra this week – “Keep the holiday vibe going “. I didn’t realize how much I needed this time away. Especially the last weekend on my own for the hen-do in Spain. I feel totally rejuvenated and I intend to hold on to that feeling for as long as possible.

My affirmation this week – “I’m the same Tess as I was before I became a Mom”. I needed this reminder. And the hen-do helped me find my way back to a forgotten part of my personality. I love being a Mom, of course, it’s the best job in the world. But it’s not all of me. I needed a few days away on my own to get in touch with inner self and to bring out fun-Tess again.

My goal this week – To ease myself back into work and update the blogs like normal. I also need to unpack, wash and organize the house. I’m thinking I might make an IGTV clip showing my makeup routine? I have switched a few products recently, so I think it’s time. You can find my Instagram here.

Mindful Monday 6the May - My focus, goal, mantra, and vision this week

My dream of the week – After having explored Dax, Hossegor, Mendy, and Valencia this holiday. I have a new appreciation for Europe. I would love to explore more of France and Spain. It’s so close to us here in London, so why not. We can even drive or take the train from here, so it’s totally doable.

My vision this week – I have a vision of a time when I only do exactly what makes me happy. Mainly work-wise. I have already started weeding out what makes me excited and what I do only because I feel like I should. But I still have a long way to go.

My focus this week –  It’s time for me to get a better balance in my mom-work-fun life. My first step is to take Thursday nights off as “my night”. I won’t work and instead, do fun things. Go for drinks with friends, hit the gym or just go to the movies alone. I really crave time away from the home that isn’t allocated to work. I can’t keep pretending that my work hours count as me-time because it doesn’t.

Mindful Monday 6the May - My focus, goal, mantra, and vision this week

The event of the week – I have had so much going on recently, so I’m looking forward to a calm week at home. I only have a meeting on Wednesday and a dentist appointment on Saturday. That is about as much excitement as I can handle this week.

My lesson from last week – I am more than I think. All I need is the opportunity to be all parts of me. Sometimes it feels like responsibility and age comes with only one particular kind of life. Even though it’s true to a certain point, there are still a lot of freedom if I choose to use it. So I will from now on choose to have a bit more fun once in a while.

My everyday-luxury this week I’m going to be in bed for 10.30 pm this week (talking about being more fun ha!). I have a lot of sleep to catch up on after the fabulous and crazy hen-weekend.

My inspiration this week – Maybe not inspiration per-say. But how cute is the clip of Prince Harry announcing the birth of their baby boy?! He looks so proud and blown away by the experience. I know that feeling and it brought a little tear to my eye.

I hope you had a wonderful bank holiday weekend guys!

What is your personal focus, goal, mantra, and vision this week?

Photos – Ida Zander. You can find my beige linen mix suit by Monki here; the blazerthe trousers – affiliate links

 

One-item-a-month challenge April – Is this the most gorgeous one yet?

I’m so excited to show you what I got for my one-item-a-month challenge in April – The most gorgeous Dolce & Gabbana hydrangea bikini!

I’m totally in love. Isn’t it pretty?

And what’s even better is that I did indeed get something pre-loved. This beauty is from Vestiaire Collective. affiliate link.

Now you might think that underwear and beachwear is a bit unhygienic to buy second-hand? And I normally totally agree that it’s one of the few items of clothing I would rather buy new. However, sometimes people get gifts or buy the wrong size or just decide they don’t like it, even before they wear it.

I was incredibly lucky to find this gem with tags and the protective plastic still attached. It was completely unused and I got it at a great price.

The size was a bit of a gamble, and I have actually never worn a high waisted bikini-bottom before. So I was stoked when it arrived and it fit me like a glove.

This is probably going down as my favorite purchase this year so far. And with summer just around the corner, PPW (Price Per Wear) should be nothing but great.

I have to admit that the beach here in Hossegor isn’t really the warmest. It’s about 20 °C, and pretty windy. I was the only person actually braving it in a bikini on the whole beach. But hey, I’m a Swedish viking, desperately needed some sun on my legs and I had an epic Dolce & Gabbana hydrangea bikini. It was going to happen.

So with a bit of clever positioning wind-wise, it was completely fine. Ace was dressed in his little UV-suit, enjoying digging holes and playing with the sand. I got to actually read a book and relax. It was bliss.

So what is your April one-item-a-month purchase? Anyone else who got something pre-loved maybe?

Honestly, this challenge is doing so much good both for me mentally and my wardrobe. I have completely snapped out of trend hysteria and are fully focused on creating a sustainable wardrobe instead.

I want to be that person who always has something to wear. If you only have items you truly love that actually fits in with the rest of your wardrobe, you will be spoilt for choice as soon as you open the door to your closet.

It’s not too late to join me, there are plenty of months left of 2019. And it doesn’t have to be one item, it could be two (maybe one new and one pre-loved?). You decide!

Would you buy underwear or bikinis pre-loved if the tags and the plastic were still on? 

You can find my January item here, my February item here and my March item here. 

My Dolce & Gabbana hydrangea bikini is from Vestiaire Collective. – affiliate link